Amanda Veterans SA Team
The lifestyle and opportunities we have here are fantastic, and it’s been the most positive move the family has experienced

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Meet Amanda Tarrant

Defence life is truly at the heart of Amanda Tarrant’s world.

Amanda’s husband, Brad, is an engineer in the Royal Australian Air Force, which has seen the couple embrace Defence life in a variety of different locations.

Originally born and raised in Queensland, Amanda met Brad while he was holidaying on the coast. At the time, Amanda was studying a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Queensland and Brad was serving at the RAAF Base in Richmond, New South Wales.

After 18 months, the couple married, and Amanda relocated to NSW where her life in Defence began.

It wasn’t long before the couple was posted overseas on what was the first of many family postings.

“After leaving Richmond, we spent three years in Penang, Malaysia. We then returned home for postings to Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane before arriving in Adelaide five years ago. The last seventeen years have been quite the adventure,” Amanda remarked.

Defence life has offered the couple a wide range of experiences, including starting a family overseas. The couple’s son was born in Malaysia.

“Having a baby in a foreign country was certainly a unique experience and being my first made it a steep learning curve,” Amanda reflected. “I was very fortunate to have a close friend, a spouse of a New Zealand Army Officer, who was a wonderful support to me, especially when my husband needed to travel.”

While based in Canberra, they welcomed a daughter and became a family of four.

Reflecting on the challenges of moving with a family, Amanda said, “Discussions about moving have a strong presence in Defence life, and they often bring with them elements of excitement for a new adventure. It can be quite daunting thinking about setting up new lives again, and the administrative load can be incredibly overwhelming, but you also get to experience a lot of things you might not have done otherwise.”

While moving around with a young family takes patience and compassion, Amanda still has a lot to give that she shares with the Defence community.

Having recently joined the Royal Australian Navy Reserves as a Maritime Spiritual Wellbeing Officer, Amanda is excited to use her professional skills and personal understanding to provide chaplaincy support to current serving members and their families.

“I love using my social work knowledge to help those in service feel well-supported in their roles, and I have a strong desire to help Defence members and families connect with support while still serving, so they can experience a positive transition out of service when the time comes,” said Amanda.

And that she does. Amanda also works as a Project Officer at Veterans SA.

“My role at Veterans SA covers a wide range of areas, but largely my time is focused on advocating for veterans and their families,” said Amanda. “This can mean working with other state government agencies to deliver policies and programs that benefit the community, mitigating challenges for veterans, or providing guidance on education and employment,” she added.

Amanda is also about to commence her PhD research project titled, ‘Violence on the Homefront: Domestic and family violence within Australia’s military families’ through the Doctor of Philosophy course she has embarked on at Flinders University. The research will aim to qualitatively explore the experiences of domestic and family violence for civilian former partners of Australian military members.

When asked about how the transition to Adelaide has been for her family, Amanda noted that it’s been an incredibly positive move for the family.

“The lifestyle and opportunities we have here are fantastic, and it’s been the most positive move the family has experienced,” she reflected. “We all feel really settled and supported.”

In Amanda’s eyes, the key to achieving this is being intentional about connecting to the wider community and pursuing things that are important both inside and outside of Defence life.

“For those families that have been relocated with Defence, the Defence community will always be at the core of your world. But there is so much value in being a part of the broader community and pursuing your own passions also,” Amanda reflected.  “Part of mine is giving back, and it just happens that I manage to still do that through my civilian career too.”