Home » Jenny’s father always wanted to serve his country. Now she’s fulfilling a lifelong family dream

Jenny’s father always wanted to serve his country. Now she’s fulfilling a lifelong family dream

Jenny’s father always wanted to serve his country. Now she’s fulfilling a lifelong family dream

Ever since Jenny Phan was young, her dream was to fly. 

“I wasn’t exposed to it, I didn’t think it was possible to have a career in defence,” said LACW Phan. 

Eight years ago, she was offered the chance to take part in an aviation camp with the Royal Australian Air Force.

When she saw a classic hornet fly during the open day, she decided “that was it” for her.

 “I thought, ‘working on jets it is’,” she said.

As an aircraft technician, she’s part of the 27 per cent of female Air Force personnel.

Over the last 10 years, the program has adapted to the variety of backgrounds and opportunities that have become available to women. 

Jenny Phan

LACW Jenny Phan is an aircraft technician with the Royal Australian Air Force.(ABC News: Crystalyn Brown)

Squadron Leader Catherine Humphries, who spearheaded the initiative, said the sessions have helped young women explore possible career paths through hands on experience. 

“[Through] research we found that people don’t apply for jobs unless they can actually see themselves in those professions, and that’s particularly evident among women,” SQNLR Humphries said. 

“I’ve been on and off with the Air Force for over 20 years and it’s definitely changed for the better for women.”

woman in blue beret wearing uniform with a brown pony tail

Squadron Leader Catherine Humphries has run the program for more than 10 years.(ABC News: Crystalyn Brown)

‘Everything from puppies to flying’

Six programs run each year with a handful of teenage girls selected to participate. 

Among the participants for the Amberley RAAF program in Brisbane was Alice, who’s been tossing up between a job in logistics or mechanics.