Accounting for a ‘never-ending job variety’

Accounting for a ‘never-ending job variety’

When you think of a career in accountancy your options may include big international accountancy firms, corporations or perhaps a small suburban tax agent, but Wing Commander Debbie Newman thought of another opportunity.

Most of us would not consider the ADF as a place to study and work with an accounting degree, but after an education at Asquith Girls High in Sydney, the Australian Defence Force Academy was an appealing option for Wing Commander Newman to undertake her degree.

Now a personnel capability officer with Air Force, Wing Commander Newman plans and shapes workforce structures as Deputy Director Personnel Plans at Headquarters Air Command.

“An ADF career offers a never-ending job variety where I am always learning and have had the opportunity to live in many different cities,” Wing Commander Newman said.

“It’s never boring. I’ve had amazing experiences throughout my career, including numerous exercises in Australia and overseas and touring Australia with the United States Air Force Commander, Pacific Air Force, in 1999.

“A personnel capability officer is usually considered an office role, however I have abseiled off the Sydney Harbour Bridge, flown to remote communities in Papua New Guinea, flown in various aircraft including the PC-9A and once sat in the Prime Minister’s seat on the Falcon 900.

Wing Commander Newman spends her spare time with her family travelling, going to the beach, theatre and bush walking. They love cooking and spending time with family and friends. 

“As Air Force commemorates its founding 100 years ago I am inquisitive about the type of technology and aircraft we will be using in 50 to 100 years from now,” she said.

“I am fascinated about seeing how our workforce systems and culture will adapt to ensure we harness the best talent in the community at the time needed.

“I do feel honoured and privileged to be a part of Air Force’s first one hundred years,” she said.

With people a strong focus of the Air Force Centenary, throughout 2020 and 2021 exceptional members who have contributed to the Air Force will be featured on and Wing Commander Newman is a fine example of the thousands of people who make up our Air Force. 

Planning is underway for the commemoration of the Royal Australian Air Force’s formation in March 1921 and further information may be obtained at

You can watch Wing Commander Newman’s story here.

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