Aviation Engineer Komal Sangha credits the Defence University Sponsorship with helping launch her career in the Royal Australian Navy.
The considerable advantages of a Defence University Sponsorship, including the payment of remaining HECS fees, textbooks provided, a salary while studying and exciting work experience opportunities are what sealed the decision for the now 24 year-old Sub Lieutenant.
For Komal, a major sponsorship perk was the ongoing support the Navy provided.
“I was allotted a Divisional Officer who acted as my mentor in assisting and guiding me with any personal and study related issues.” she said.
“I had complete access to the Defence Network through the Melbourne City office, I also had the opportunity to attend different functions and met people from various areas of defence.”
When asked why she chose to join the Navy over the other disciplines, Komal says aviation engineers in the Navy have the opportunity to work with highly complex rotary wing systems.
“The opportunity to work with the amazing technology and machinery really appealed to me,” she said.
As one of the few engineering students at Monash University on a Defence University Sponsorship, Komal was clear about the benefits of her career choice.
Komal recently achieved her Primary Qualification as an Aviation Engineering Officer. Since completing her degree two years ago she has undergone military and technical training and is eagerly awaiting her first posting as a junior Aviation Engineering Officer.
Komal has recently spent ten months learning everything she can about Seahawk helicopters. She has done regular maintenance related investigations, provided recommendations to the command, delivered daily engineering briefs on the aircraft, planned squadron detachments and provided advice on weekly squadron flying priorities. Komal has also been a Divisional Officer for a team of sailors. It is her job to ensure the wellbeing of all the divisional members and conduct monthly divisional meetings.
The two years of Navy training Komal has undergone as part of her job since graduation have been a highly rewarding experience but meant a steep learning curve, she said.
“The detachments over the last two years have taken me on the HMAS Sydney where we travelled from Hawaii to Brisbane and to Bundaberg in Queensland for Anti Submarine Warfare,” she said.
One of the highlights of Komal’s short Navy career occurred while on a detachment to Caloundra with Seahawk helicopters on ANZAC day this year.
“We had a small stopover at Port Macquarie to show school kids the helicopter. As I was showing them around, a little girl and her mum came up to me and asked for a picture. The girl’s mother told me the girl was really inspired to see a female engineer working with a helicopter and had decided that she’d become an Aviation Engineer as well.”
Komal says days like that make her understand two important aspects of her job; how lucky she is to have been given the opportunity to join the Australian Defence Force and how important it is to act as a role model for younger generations.
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'One of the highlights, while working with Seahawk helicopters, was showing school kids around. A little girl and her mum came up to me and asked for a picture. They were really inspired to see a female engineer working with a helicopter and the girl had decided that she will also become an aviation engineer.'