College News

Academy Bound

St Mary's College Ipswich Graduate Dana Evans. Shoulder length curly brown hair, wearing navy blue polo shirt and smiling

St Mary’s College Ipswich graduate Dana Evans is preparing for basic training, having been accepted into the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) to study Aeronautical Engineering in 2020.

Dana will be sworn into the Defence Force on 28 January, and travel to Canberra to complete a six week basic training course. She will commence studying at ADFA at the end of February for four years.

Dana said she was excited when she received the phone call offering her the placement, though is a little sad leave to her family and friends to live on campus at ADFA. “This course will provide me with a greater range of opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to undertake if I was following a general university pathway,” she said. “It will also provide me with new experiences, like living on campus at the University of New South Wales and partaking in a variation of the military life, allowing me to grow as a person and enabling me to get more involved in the ADFA/University of New South Wales way of life.”

Exploring the possibility of a career in the defence force began for Dana in her final years at St Mary’s College Ipswich. “St Mary’s offers a wide range of opportunities outside of the standard school regime which initially allowed me to attend a Flight Camp for Women at the Perth RAAF Base.”

Dana said her teachers at St Mary’s College Ipswich have left a lasting impression. “My Year 11 and 12 teacher Ms Cathy Currie had a big impact on the way I viewed hard work. She taught Chemistry in a way that made it seem enjoyable even though it was incredibly challenging. Since she had such a positive outlook and put a lot of effort into the classes, it compelled me to try hard in my work and share that positive outlook,” Dana said. “I still refer to a lot of the rules we learnt in high school chemistry in my engineering study and I genuinely can only recall the information due to Ms Currie’s quirky sayings about said topic.”

At the end of her time with ADFA, Dana is looking forward to pursuing career opportunities with the defence force. “The course will open up potential for numerous engineering roles in the RAAF. I am particularly interested in working with the design and manufacture of aircraft safety equipment.”