Kyla Walkley

As far back as she can remember, Kyla Walkley had always wanted to join the Army. But it wasn’t until her mid-20s, that she made the move.

12 June 2020

Kyla Walkley dressed in Australian Army uniform and standing at attention with other Australian Army personnel.

“One day I just found myself calling the Army Reserve number and booking myself in for the initial assessments,” said Kyla.

After basic training, Kyla marched out of Kapooka and into a Reserve unit on the Gold Coast. It was on an exercise in Shoalwater Bay, where Kyla watched the medics working, that she knew she wanted more.

“I knew, if I was going to make a real go of being a medic in the Army, I had to make some life changes. This is where the Australian Defence Force (ADF) gave me the direction and support I needed,” Kyla said.

In 2004, Kyla transferred to Royal Australian Army Medical Corps as a reservist and applied to Griffith University to complete a Bachelor of Nursing.

“After I deployed on Operation Resolute with 8/9 RAR, I applied for a position as a graduate nursing officer, with the support of some naval officers I worked with and my commander,” said Kyla.

Kyla enlisted as Lieutenant Walkley and was posted to the Health Support Battalion and the next eight years, as a full-time Army nursing officer, was a dream come true. Then, in 2019, Kyla decided it was time to move on to a new stage of her career.

“It was a decision I anguished over but I’d completed all my career courses and felt there was really nothing more I could give the Army. I knew there was a whole world of opportunity out there for me too,” said Kyla.

Kyla said the idea of transition was initially very daunting, but quickly found the transition coach, seminars and support systems very helpful.

“Members need to give themselves plenty of time,” said Kyla.

“When you know your transition date, make an appointment with your transition coach and book in for a seminar to get information on military and civilian support services.”

Kyla is now based in remote Queensland and, despite the challenges, is enjoying her new career in rural and remote nursing.

“The level of health care I am able to provide within the multi-disciplinary teams in the middle of nowhere is mind-blowing,” said Kyla.

‘Kowanyama has an amazing history with some lovely people and I can use the clinical skills, confidence and experience that my time in the Army gave me.”

Kyla Walkley holding onto a large, wooden sign that says 'Welcome to Kowanyama'. Kowanyama is a small, coastal town in far-north Queensland, Australia.