‘My Mum Was Everything To Me’


Corporal Georgia Ross is a crew attendant with 33 Squadron at RAAF Amberley. Her mother, Warrant Officer Jodi Ross, died from pancreatic cancer in August last year. These are her thoughts on spending her first Mother’s Day without her mum (as told to Evana Ho).

My mum was literally the best lady ever.

She cared about everyone so much. It didn’t matter who you were, what rank you were, where you came from.

She was everything. She was my netball coach. She was my first call on my contact list.

She would always tell me what I didn’t want to hear, but needed to hear.

It sounds weird, but I still know exactly what she smelled like. I remember the feeling of giving her a hug and stuff.

She was just the best mum ever. She loved me and my brother more than anything.

Her journey

She grew up in a housing commission and came from really humble beginnings. She lost her brother when she was only 13 and then her mum two years after that. And then just through life as well, like, getting breast cancer before then getting pancreatic cancer.

She never complained and never gave up.

Mum joined Air Force when she was 18 or 19. She had served for 33 years when she passed away; she was very proud of that. She came from a pretty tough upbringing and kind of looked at the people around her and thought, ‘I can do one of two things. I can stay here and follow along from the people that I’m around and not go very far in life or I can get out of here and join the Air Force and make something of myself.’

She joined as a steward when they had those, then transferred to become a cook in the Air Force. That’s where she met my dad, while they were both training to be cooks. She later transitioned into being a PCS (personnel capability specialist), which is what she did until she passed away.

At the end of her life she was working in Indigenous affairs and helped a lot of kids get into the Air Force or transition within Air Force. One girl, when she was in the hospital on one of her last days, came to visit her. She said, ‘Your mum is the reason I’m going to become a lawyer now.’ So she definitely helped a lot of people.

My mum definitely inspires me to be a person like she was – well known for the right reasons throughout the Air Force.

My journey

I joined when I was a few months off 18. Growing up, I always got asked by people, ‘Are you gonna join the Air Force?’ I was like, definitely not. But it just happened that when I was finishing school, my mum was working in Air Force Gap Year.

She said, ‘Georgia … you don’t have to stay longer than a year, you can leave whenever you want. We’ll come and pick you up.’

My dad’s a crew attendant and they were like, look at all the places around the world that your dad has travelled to; you’ll just have so much fun.

I fell in love with the job straight away once I was actually doing it. She was very proud that I was in the Air Force and for a little bit, when I was still posted to Canberra she was posted there as well. We got to do an Anzac Day together and stuff like that. It was really nice.

Everyone says I look a lot like my mum so they know who I am straight away. She knew everyone and a lot of people knew her. I get a lot of, ‘Ohh, you’re Jodi’s daughter’.

The Air Force was really amazing when Mum got sick. When I found out Mum was unwell, I was in Malaysia (at RAAF Butterworth) doing a four-month rotation. They got me home as soon as they could and straight up to Brisbane. They offered that if I wanted to post to 33 Squadron I could, to be closer to the family.

I was supported by the Air Force through everything. I think that made Mum really happy and that was a big thing for me as well that even afterwards if Mum passed away or when Mum passed away, I could still be with Dad and my brother and live closer to them.

My parents’ influence

They’ve definitely set high bars. My dad is amazing in his own right and in the crewatt world he is fairly well known. When I posted to 34 Squadron in Canberra he was the only A category crew attendant in the Air Force. So the top of the top, which was big shoes to fill.

Everyone knows I come from a good dad and that he’s going to support me and teach me the right ways of doing things. He definitely inspires me to make sure that I do the best in my job.

My mum definitely inspires me to be a person like she was – well known for the right reasons throughout the Air Force. Be well known for having all these great connections and leaving an impression on people and trying to help them hit their goals as well.

She was a massive mentor for me and I hope I can be that for other people.

The Air Force was really amazing when Mum got sick. When I found out mum was unwell, I was in Malaysia. They got me home as soon as they could and straight up to Brisbane.

Mother’s Day

I’ll probably spend Mother’s Day with my dad and my brother, talk about mum and just kind of look out for each other. Probably have a beer for her too, because that’s what she would want.

It’s always gonna be a tough day, but she’s definitely not a person who would want us to sit around sulking. She would just want us to be with each other and share stories.

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