Mentoring advocate nominated for award

Then Petty Officer Jessica Buley stands beside her portrait in the ‘thank you for your service’ photographic exhibition in the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney last year. Photo: Chief Petty Officer Cameron Martin

Mentoring advocate nominated for award

Hard work and dedication has landed Chief Petty Officer Jessica Buley a nomination in the Australian Defence Magazine Women in Defence Awards 2020. 

Following in her Grandfather’s footsteps, Chief Petty Officer Communications Information Warfare Manager, HMAS Sydney, Jessica Buley had been thinking about joining the ADF for some time before the opportunity presented itself.

“My Grandfather, Sapper Raymond McPherson, served for half his life,” Chief Petty Officer Buley said.

“He lost his life while on duty more than 40 years ago and I never had the opportunity to meet him, however, his influence in my decision to join the ADF can’t be underestimated.”

The majority of Chief Petty Officer Buley’s career has been spent in Cairns aboard patrol boats and hydrographic survey vessels, but her career highlight was participating in the commissioning of HMAS Hobart in 2017. 

Hobart was a new and fierce warfighting capability and the best part was being a member of the dedicated and inspiring crew,” she said.

“It was a hard slog, but together we met all the challenges and became a cohesive and high-performing team, along with the best of friends.” 

Chief Petty Officer Buley is an advocate of mentoring throughout Navy and takes pride in influencing others by her consistency, credibility and attitude – traits that landed her as a finalist in the ADM Women in Defence Awards 2020.  

“It’s vital that we get the relationships with our people right: good relationships allow for positive influence,” she said. 

She said the most challenging aspect of her career in the Navy had been finding the balance between her work and home life.

“I like to think I break the mould and inspire other women – mothers and parents alike –  who wish to maintain clear career paths, who master their trades at sea but still manage to maintain and support their families ashore,” Chief Petty Officer Buley said.

Her advice to other women working in the Navy is it all starts with you. 

“Be real to who you are, be an example and earn respect. If you are authentic and true to yourself you will draw others to you.”

The winners will be announced on Friday.

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