Yarrawonga’s Russell Crothers and his family are busy settling into life in Townsville this week after making the next big step in his career in the Airforce.
Russell, youngest son of Jo and Kay Crothers, joined the Airforce as a mature-age recruit, seeking stability and a good career trajectory for the support of his family.
“I thought about joining the Airforce when I was 19 but I was young and couldn’t really get myself sorted out so didn’t take up the opportunity.
“After having a few different jobs (including a stint in China as a jet ski stunt man) I was interested in getting an apprenticeship of some sort but there weren’t a lot of options for a mature-aged position,” said Russell, 38.
“I knew I wanted to try something, so I joined the Airforce and took on training as a diesel mechanic (Ground Support Equipment Technician).”
After graduating with his training unit at the RAAF Base in Wagga Wagga in 2016 and being presented with the ‘Commanding Officers Good Show’ award for his outstanding performance, Russell headed to Latchford Barracks at Bonegilla for continued trade training.
He recently graduated, once again with special distinction taking out the ‘Senior Instructor’s Award’ for averaging above 95% in his course assessments.
“The training at Bonegilla was basically like the equivalent of an apprentice doing trade school – we do that all in one stint then head off for practical training,” Russell said.
“We had a lot of options as to where I could be stationed and eventually we settled on Townsville.”
Russell will continue his training in Townsville, working on a wide-range of machinery and equipment utilised at the Airforce base over the next 12 months with the possibility of staying on after his training is complete.
Russell, wife Tina, and kids Brittney 15, Kaemon 14, Weston 4 and Mackenzie 2, will then decide on the next chapter in their adventure.