New military role to support ADF transition

New military role to support ADF transition

Flight Lieutenant Nicola Bigarelli is pioneering a new role in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) by building relationships between units and Defence’s ADF Transition team. 

28 October 2020

Flight Lieutenant Nicola Bigarelli is pioneering a new role in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) by building relationships between units and Defence’s ADF Transition team. 

As one of the new Military Transition Support Officers (MTSOs), she works with units to help members navigate a successful transition to civilian life by providing policy guidance, command visits and running base-wide unit transition briefings.

‘I took on this role because I have a lot of experience within Defence and knew I had a lot of knowledge to offer,’ says Nicola, who has been in the role for 18 months. ‘Who better than someone who has gone through transition themselves to work with units to ensure the best possible experience and outcomes for ADF members?’

Nicola and the current team of 10 MTSOs around Australia are working to shift perceptions by being the middle-person in uniform. She said that communicating with command as a uniformed officer is more successful due to shared experience and culture. Nicola has previously transitioned from permanent service and is now fulfilling the MTSO role as a Reservist.

‘We know that a member’s perception of the organisation is influenced greatly by the relationship they had with their last unit,’ she says. ‘Support from Command during transition makes a big difference to a member’s willingness to re-engage at a later date and how successfully they are able to set themselves up for life after the ADF.”  

She says the reason she became an MTSO was because of her passion to help members who are struggling with transition.

“There are so many more options available now, for advice, training and providing service in different ways with the Total Workforce System. Part of my job as an MTSO is to guide people through all the support and options available to them.’  

Previously a logistics officer in the Air Force, her experience in full-time service means Nicola is able to deliver information in a way that resonates with ADF personnel. 

‘The introduction of the Defence Force Transition Program in January 2020 has seen a boost in the transition services available to members and their families. It doesn’t matter why someone is leaving, or how long they have served, support is there.’

The biggest tip Nicola would give to ADF members looking to transition would be to plan ahead and do your research. 

Related information is on the Defence Community Organisation website.

Information about DVA’s Veteran Support Officers is on the DVA website.

 

Woman in RAAF uniform standing in front of a fighter jet

Defence Military Transition Support Officer, Flight Lieutenant Nicola Bigarelli.

 

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