Army Mum’s Tough Battle

Department of Defence

The concept ‘it takes a village’ really translates for Army mum Captain Rosanna Slater, who was on a self-nominated international deployment over Mother’s Day this year.

Captain Slater, from 9th Force Support Battalion at RAAF Base Amberley, is deployed in Honiara, Solomon Islands, working as a logistics officer to the joint task group responsible for organising the deployment of soldiers to Operation Lilia.

Captain Slater is also mother to Oliver (Ollie), who’s almost two.

Captain Slater said nominating for her first deployment opportunity was a hard decision and she felt conflicted between her career and her family.

“Of course, being away from home is challenging as Ollie reaches different milestones – since being away he has started talking more and says ‘love you’,” Captain Slater said.

“I am highly committed to both priorities of being a mother and serving my country.

“Although the time away was difficult, I remind myself that the deployment will help my family long term by furthering my career and adding to my personal happiness.”

Captain Slater said she’s lucky to have a lot of support, one being her husband, who is also a serving member.

“It is a great comfort knowing that Ollie is well looked after at home and will happily adjust to this new routine for the next few weeks,” Captain Slater said.

“I also contacted the Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) program, which will send my son a teddy and book – as a small gift from mum.

“Although balancing work and family commitments can be challenging, as you may feel drawn to both, Defence also provides some excellent opportunities for work-life balance.

“Op Lilia will leave a positive impression on the Solomon Islands Government and people, in regards to how they perceive Australia as a security partner of choice, and for that I take pride in my work, while knowing that my family are looked after,” she said.

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate mums and treat them to something special. However, for others, it can be an emotionally challenging time.

Families needing support can go to DMFS or call the Defence Member and Family Helpline 1800 624 608.

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