Andrea Smalley

What is your role in The Oasis Townsville?

I am the Employment Coordinator with Oasis and my role is to provide a high-quality service for transitioning and ex-ADF veterans and their families by connecting them with relevant agencies involved in supporting employment.

Tell us about yourself

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I have had a connection with the Defence Force my entire life. My grandfather served in WWII and received a Military Medal during his service. He celebrated his 100th Birthday this year. I feel privileged to be his granddaughter.

I grew up in Albury-Wodonga, being the youngest of five children. As a young child, my dream was to become a Police officer and I succeeded, moving to Melbourne to commence my career. I enjoyed the variety of work and being able to assist people in need.

Whilst in the Police Force I met my husband and I have been an Army spouse for over 25 years, posting to locations supporting 5 Aviation Regiment. Townsville is home, as we have been lucky enough to live here for ten years. I think that just about makes me a local!

I love everything outdoors, from camping to sports, swimming, walks and coffees on the beach. I love fine dining, socialising with friends, and spending quality time with my family.

Why have you joined the team at The Oasis Townsville?

I joined the Oasis team as I believe the organisation offers a meaningful and rewarding wellbeing program and the idea of having a place like the home base for everyone to connect and socialise is amazing. Over the years I have heard many stories about the difficulties of people leaving the Defence Forces and transitioning into the civilian lifestyle. The Oasis has recognised there are many elements to a smooth transition. It will be life changing for a lot of people and I am excited to be a part of it.

What are you most proud of in your life?

My greatest accomplishment would have to be our six wonderful children, 2 boys and 4 girls. I have had the opportunity to teach, guide and learn from the vast experiences that parenthood has offered. I am proud every day to see the amazing young people that they have become.

What’s the best fun you’ve had with family and/or friends?

Our family travelled around Australia for 8 months in a small caravan six years ago. We had some fabulous adventures, met incredible people and created beautiful memories. I look back now and wonder how we managed it.