Spending Father’s Day in Egypt


Squadron Leader Matt Daley has missed plenty of the day-to-day rhythm of family life while deployed to the Levant.

And while this Father’s Day will also be spent far from home in the Middle East, his two children are at front of mind.

Squadron Leader Daley deployed in January with the Australian contingent on Operation Paladin, the ADF’s designation for the support to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO).

“I first worked in the Golan Heights to assist Israel and Syria observe the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement,” Squadron Leader Daley said.

“A few months ago I transferred to liaison office Cairo as the deputy chief, assisting to maintain good relationships with Egyptian officials and UN organisations in Cairo on behalf of the UNTSO Head of Mission.”

It is a long way from where Squadron Leader Daley usually works at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria, coordinating Defence support to community aid.

His role on return to Australia will be helping to develop the next generation of pilots.

“I joined Defence wanting to be a part of something bigger, something with meaning,” Squadron Leader Daley said.

“23 years later I still have the same passion for service.”

While he stills love his work, Squadron Leader Daley admits that the time away from his wife and two boys Archer (7) and Lachlan (5) has been difficult.

“I’ve missed birthdays, visits from the tooth fairy, helping out with homework, school events and sporting achievements,” he said.

“The hardest part is not being able to help out at home during the challenging times.”

The separation is made easier by those he has met along the way.

“It wouldn’t be the same without the great people I serve with, wherever they are in the world,” Squadron Leader Daley said.

“But I’m definitely looking forward to seeing my kids’ little smiles, and helping them grow.”

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