Gap Year in the Australian Defence Force on 3AW 693AM Radio Melbourne with Tom Elliott

Gap Year in the Australian Defence Force - Tom Elliott and Sue Ellson

Gap Year in the Australian Defence Force on 3AW 693AM Radio Melbourne with Tom Elliott

By Sue Ellson

Topic: Gap Year in the Australian Defence Force

Date: 19 June 2024

Media Outlet: 3AW 693AM Melbourne

Broadcaster / Interviewer: Tom Elliott

Producer: Michael Hilder

Duration: 00:02:49

Time of show:  9:55am

Audio Recording:

YouTube Video:

Gap Year in the Australian Defence Force on 3AW Radio Melbourne 693AM Tom Elliott and Sue Ellson


Now Gap Years. I mentioned this before. The Australian Defence Force, particularly the Army wants year 12 students who have no idea what they want to do to consider at least a year or a gap year in uniform. Our next guest, Career Expert Sue Ellson. Sue, good morning.

Hi Tom.

Is this a good idea a year in the Army you know after you’ve done year 12 if you don’t know what you want to do?

Well the website of the ADF careers actually gives you some idea of the different careers that are available so i’ definitely suggest you check that first but also I think you need to be aware it is a one-year commitment. Now when I signed the papers for my brother to join the Navy he had to sign up for seven years. This is not something you can do as a work experience exercise but I’ve also been involved in Scouts and I attended my first Jamboree at 41 and kind of wished I’d done it at 14 because there are so many experiences you get in that type of environment


That you just won’t get anywhere else.

But wait a minute, were you a scout or a scout leader age 41?

I was a Parent Helper and I went to two Jamborees, one up in Belmore uh sorry Elmore which is near Bendigo and I was feeding 1200 people three times a day – that’s the other parent helpers and I went up to Sydney to do the water activities for two weeks and took kids out sailing on Sydney Harbor for two weeks.

Okay, well good on you. Well I mean I left school almost 40 years ago and Gap Years were basically unknown.


You either studied or you started work.


Or you went and worked on you know like a remote cattle property as a jackaroo but these days a lot of kids seem to do it. It’s sort of like a long holiday. They go to Europe they might do a bit of work but the idea is to just sort of see the world and see the sites.


Is that a good thing for kids to do?

Well if they’ve got the budget I guess it’s an option that they can do but I think one of the things that would stand out for me if I was a little bit betwixt and between about my future career, something like a year in Defence Force is going to challenge you. You’re going to learn discipline, you’re going to learn teamwork and I’m not being an advocate here just for Navy, Army and Air Force but there’s going to be experiences that you get in that that you won’t get by traveling. You can travel in theory at any time in your life. This Gap Year option is available for 17 to 24 year olds and I remember listening to a television program of ex people from defence and they all said despite what they the challenges they faced after leaving the Defence Force, they would all go back in a heartbeat because they loved that teamwork and that connection and the mateship and all those other things that comes with it.

Well that is very interesting. Raises the debate about not just a Gap Year in the Defence Force but maybe the reintroduction of National Service. Career Expert there Sue Ellson 136693.

Social Share

GAP YEAR // The Australian Defence Force is offering Australians 17-24 years old an opportunity to complete a gap year in the Army, Navy or Air Force. Tom Elliott interviewed me today on 3AW Radio Melbourne 693AM 📻 based on an article by Andrew Koubaridis in the Herald Sun🗞️ We discussed:

✅ website with careers available for Gap Year participants
✅ one year commitment (previously seven years)
✅ value of being involved in scouts
✅ how defence is different to travel and other work experiences
✅ challenge, discipline, teamwork in Navy, Army and Air Force
✅ teamwork, connection and mateship of former defence personnel
✅ should we re-consider national service

Enjoy the show online at

This link also includes further information you may find helpful.

Thanks to Producer Michael for reaching out!

➡️ Do you know someone who would consider a paid gap year in the defence force?

#3awmelbourne #gapyear #adfcareers #australiandefenceforce #tomelliott #sueellson

Further information

Gap Year in the Australian Defence Force

$75K no experience: Gap Year roles for young Aussies

Podcast Recording of the Show – starts at 00:54:16- 00:57:05

Apple Podcast Full Show

Spotify Full Show

Shared online:, Publications Page, Radio Page, Videos Page, Facebook Page, Google, LinkedIn Page, LinkedIn Profile, Twitter / X

Discover more from Sue Ellson

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading