"I was in an office job I wasn't enjoying, when my best friend suggested I join the Air Force. So I did."
Mel originally left school at 16 to become a jockey, but she soon found herself working in an office administration job. Not enjoying the lifestyle and frustrated by the lack of career prospects, her best friend suggested she join the Air Force - so she did. Mel joined the Air Force in early 2009 and following her Initial Recruit Training, she began her career as a Movements Operator.
Mel first deployed in 2011 as part of Operation Slipper, where she joined the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Mel deployed for six months and was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal, Afghanistan Medal and NATO Non-Article 5 Medal for her contribution.
In late 2012, Mel served as part of Operation Resolute. Here she joined a wider whole-of-Government effort in patrolling Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests.
Mel pursued her ambition and transitioned from her role as a Movements Operator to a Loadmaster within the Air Force in 2015. Her career went to new heights when she made the move from controlling cargo on the ground, to controlling cargo in the skies.
In 2015, Mel travelled to the Middle East. Her role was to help those deployed in the region as part of Operation Accordion. Here, the Australian Defence Force's mission was to support operations in the area and enhance regional relationships.
In 2016, Mel conducted the first cargo airdrop out of a C-17A Globemaster III into Antarctica. The logistics mission also included delivering heavy cargo and an Aeromedical Evacuation Team in support of the Australian Antarctic Division.