Leading Aircraftwoman Kimberley de Haan, Royal Australian Air Force

Portrait of a young Australian servicewoman with her loyal dog.

Leading Aircraftwoman Kimberley de Haan is based at RAAF Base Richmond as a Military Working Dog Handler.

Before enlisting she worked as a waitress and swim coach.

‘I just wanted a job that had more meaning; a job where I could be outside all the time and a job that I could be proud of,’ she says.

Leading Aircraftwoman de Haan says being in a new section has provided her with many opportunities.

‘It was a young section when I first arrived so I had been given a lot of responsibility at an early stage, and have since grown from there. I’ve already experienced a six and a half month deployment overseas and I’ve spent the last few weeks at the Avalon Air Show. You get a lot of opportunities to go places.’

She says her deployment in the United Arab Emirates was an invaluable learning experience.

‘You meet a lot of new people, you get to work alongside coalition forces and get given many opportunities to learn new skills and better your trade, as well as getting a better understanding of the job and the role.’

Leading Aircraftwoman de Haan says she is honoured to be serving in the Australian Defence Force.

‘It makes me feel proud and my family proud. And of course, it’s a privilege to work for Defence.’

She says it’s humbling when people say “thank you for your service”.

‘It feels good to be recognised and makes your job feel that little bit more important.’