BAE Systems Australia supports the health, employment and rehabilitation of Australia’s veterans, defence service personnel and their families.
Providing careers for veterans extends beyond our commitment to developing an inclusive and diverse workplace. We actively hire veterans for the wealth of knowledge, experience and skills they bring to all areas of our business. They are uniquely placed to help us better understand the needs of our customer.
In 2021, we were awarded the Prime Minister's Veterans' Employer of the Year award in the Large Employer Category.
Our initiatives are led by our Veterans Advisory Committee who provide advice to our business about topics facing veteran employees and their families today and into the future.
We are proud of those who have served our country and are grateful for their sacrifice.
A best practice guide for employing veterans
More than 10 per cent of our workforce has served in the military. Our VAC has instigated a number of initiatives to ensure we can attract, recruit, transition and retain the best veteran talent. We share our learnings and advice for other organisations seeking to unlock the potential of veterans, through this best practice guide.
We partner with Legacy Australia to support Australian Defence Force families. As a Foundation Partner, we support the Legacy Australia Education Grants Fund which helps the partners, children and widows of current and former serving personnel.
This partnership focuses on education and future employment for those in need and also helps Legacy Australia to raise funds to ensure they can continue to provide support to the contemporary defence family.
Our employees are encouraged to provide additional support to Legacy through site-based fundraising initiatives and events and to use paid volunteer leave to support their local Legacy club.
We are a long-term partner of Soldier On, an organisation that delivers services to serving and ex-serving veterans and their families.
Currently we are the sole sponsor of the Vet Connect - Transitioning program, an early intervention support program designed to reduce the trajectory of known mental health impacts on veterans during the initial transition timing.
Our human resources team also work closely with the Soldier On Pathways team to recruit veterans and their families into our workforce.
Reserves gives new direction for former army officer
After five years in the Australian Army, including active service in Afghanistan, Mat felt lost when he returned to Australia and civilian life.
“I found the transition at first a little bit hard. I was lost. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do because my whole life growing up I wanted to be in the army. I got out and did some labouring jobs but I didn’t really like it. I thought I wanted to go down one of two paths, either defence or becoming a police officer,” Mat said.
After having some time away from the Army, it was getting back to the Reserves that gave Mat both a sense of purpose and a path to his career with our organisation.
“The Reserves really set me on the right track. It led me to my role at BAE Systems and I get such a sense of achievement from still wearing the uniform, but not full time.”
In his role with us, Mat fully utilises the skills he gained in the army. In his service role he drove armoured vehicles, ensuring personnel were able to move safely in conflict zones.
He now works in our workshop on the maintenance and development of armoured vehicles, including new semi-autonomous vehicles.
“Every single day I have learnt new skills which is what I like about my role. Every day is a little bit different, so I don’t get bored. I get to work with a great team and really cool machinery, while working toward a trade qualification. I really feel supported and like I am being set up for success.”
One of the main reasons Mat left the armed forces was to regain work life balance and to create a stable home with his now fiancée.
The pair has recently finished building their first home together and are planning a wedding for 2022. With a stable career and home life, Mat says having some time off was really what he needed to re-set when he left the Army.
“Picking the right career and focusing on family was what helped me. A lot of people work in BAE Systems Australia who have a defence background. They really value the skills and experience we bring, and being a reservist helps me to continue to wear both caps,” Mat said.
A love of water led Glenn to the Osborne Naval Shipyard
Glenn left the Australian Navy in search for stability when he could stay in one place for longer.
"You don’t have to sacrifice everything you get from the defence force to be in the defence sector."
Having spent 22 years as a submariner, Glenn knew he wanted to keep his connection to the water and the defence sector when he became a civilian.
Working as a training lead in our business, Glenn trains sailors in how to operate a range of leading technology on the latest ships. Based at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia, he has been able to blend his defence expertise with a relaxed, coastal lifestyle.
“I left the navy because I wanted stability and I wanted to stay in one spot for more than two years. But you don’t have to sacrifice everything you get from the defence force to be in the defence sector - they speak the same language, come from the same background, have the same values. It’s been an easy transition to that environment.”
For someone who joined the navy the very day he left school, the transition to civilian life was made easier through choosing to work in the defence sector and maintaining that link to the armed forces.
“I loved the navy as much the day I left as the day I joined. It was the right job for me. But I no longer wanted to live in Perth, so I thought I’ll leave the navy and it made sense for an ex-submariner to come to a city that has a submarine shipyard. I bought a house next to the submarine factory. It just made sense to me,” he said.
Choose your own adventure for former air defence officer
"For me, I needed to really reflect on what I needed to be fulfilled in my civilian life."
When Jeremy Satchell left the Australian Army after serving for 13 years, he knew that it wasn’t about replacing one job with another, it was about building a completely new life and lifestyle.
In his own words Jeremy chose to work with us because there is an ability to ‘choose your own adventure’.
“The scale of the business and the success of the business over many years, has allowed us to be very diverse and that presents us with opportunities on a day-to-day basis.
"You may start in one area of the business and can end up working within another completely different program.”
Working within our Global Access Program, Jeremy helps SME’s to explore export opportunities within our global network.
Reflecting on his transition from the army to civilian life, Jeremy explained that maintaining a sense of service was really important.
“One of the key reasons I wanted to join the military was to serve my country. To me service means giving back to the nation, to your community, to your family. The way I felt I could do that best was by putting on a uniform. A sense of service is in every Australian,” he said.
“For me I needed to really reflect on what I needed to be fulfilled in my civilian life and I was able to achieve that by volunteering with Soldier On, working at my local children's school, fulfilling army reservists duties and joining my local football club.”