Away from his day job as a Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) advanced plumbing inspector, Bruce Linke, a veteran of the Iraq conflict, regularly makes time to serve with his unit 65 SQN Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Reserves.

Following four years’ service as a plumber with the RAAF, firstly at Edinburgh near Adelaide, Amberley and then at Townsville, Mr Linke was deployed to Middle East operations and Papa New Guinea flood relief.

Mr Linke has maintained a strong commitment to his service life during his 10 years at TRC by continuing to serve with 65 SQN Air Force Reserves.

Mr Linke said Council’s supportive arrangements allowed him to commit at least 20 days each year to serving with the RAAF’s 65 Squadron based at Amberley and Townsville.

“I’m grateful for Council’s support of my time spent with the Air Force Reserves and I was pleased to nominate Council for the Employer Support Award (Southern Queensland Public Sector category) at the recent Defence Reserves Support Council’s Brisbane presentation function,” Mr Linke said.

“It’s great to give praise when it is due.

“In the past financial year, I was tasked for almost three months of service across various exercises and activities such as the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Exercise Regal Burrow, which consisted of re-activating a warlike airport, and the Avalon Air Show in Victoria,” Mr Linke said.

“Our unit helped with the event preparations for the Avalon Air Show, including establishing exhibitors’ displays, equipment demonstrations and then dismantling the site.

“I enjoy the work and catching up with plenty of mates. I’m waiting on my next tasking with 65 Squadron and the RAAF Reserves.”

TRC People and Organisational Development portfolio leader Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan said Council was pleased to have offered flexible leave arrangements that allowed Reservists like Bruce Linke or State Emergency Services volunteers time to undertake specialist duties in the service of our nation.

“Council recognises the commitment of staff who serve our community through their activities with the Defence Force Reserves,” Cr O’Hara Sullivan said.

“We have a number of staff who are eligible to be involved in similar activities each year, depending on operational exercises.

“The Toowoomba Region has a long association and close affinity with the Defence Forces, especially the 7th Signal Regiment at Cabarlah and the Army Aviation Training Centre at Oakey. These centres are vital parts of our regional economy and play an equally important social role in our community.

“At this year’s Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, a Freedom of Entry parade was held before the main civic parade to honour the officers and sailors from HMAS Toowoomba (an Anzac class frigate), 7th Signal Regiment (Cabarlah), 25th/49th Battalion, the Royal Queensland Regiment and the Army Aviation Training Centre (Oakey).”

Caption: TRC Plumbing and Drainage Coordinator Ray Smith (centre) accepts the Employer Support Award (Southern Queensland Public Sector category) from Army Captain (Brisbane Battalion Reservist) Adam Fairhurst, left, at the recent Defence Reserves Support Council’s presentation function. Bruce Linke nominated TRC for the award.