A rewarding life outside Defence

Lisa Cashman joined the Royal Australian Navy at 19 and found it to be an incredibly rewarding career choice. She was able to change roles and locations with ease, which meant that she never felt tied to a seat or bored.  

She was married weeks before a six-month deployment to Bahrain with a small team comprised of Tri-Services and multinational personnel.  

During her service, Lisa was able to mentor fellow Navy staff from recruit level to their first ship. As part of this role, she ensured that those being mentored were in a happy workplace and inspired to continue in their Navy career.  

When the time came to transition, Lisa found the process challenging and, at times, overwhelming. “There was such a big to-do list,” Lisa said. “I found myself second-guessing every decision I was making”. She had to tackle the mental barriers and hurdles, including job security and how her young family was going to adapt to the shift in lifestyle. 

Due to the selective position that Lisa held, she had to be proactive in finding her replacement. For Lisa, the drive to better manage expectations and the balance of her home and work life was a priority, and she researched opportunities available.  

Lisa was introduced to Soldier On through a Pilates class in Perth. “The class was amazing, and it was such a good opportunity to get out and do something I probably wouldn’t have done for myself otherwise”.  

Lisa joined the Soldier On team in February 2022 and has found it super flexible. Working with an employer who understands the needs of veterans and their families has made her transition relatively stress free.  As a result, Lisa feels that she is in the exact place that she needs to be and is now making a meaningful difference in the lives of other current and ex-serving veterans through her role as a Pathways Officer. 

For anyone thinking about starting the transition period, Lisa offered the following advice. “Back yourself. There is a life outside of Defence, and it can be super rewarding. The journey doesn’t need to be scary. You have so many transferrable skills, things that you probably haven’t even considered as skills. The Soldier On Pledge companies love the experience and skillsets that veterans have – you are very employable.”  

Lisa recently received a scholarship through Curtin University to study a Bachelor of Commerce with plans on majoring in Human Resources, a discipline not too dissimilar to that of her Navy career.  


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Further reading

Soldier On Spring Journal 2023_front cover
Soldier On Spring Journal 2023
Enjoy a copy of Soldier On’s Spring Journal, proudly published by Country Wide Austral.
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Overcoming adversity with the Pathways Program
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