Evans Head woman receives medal
A FORMER Evans Head woman who has been in the Royal Australian Air Force for more than eight years was this week honoured with a Conspicuous Service Medal.
Sgt Angela Maher received the Queen's Birthday honour for meritorious achievement as the training developer for electronic intelligence at the Defence Force's School of Signals in the Electronic Warfare Wing.
“I was really surprised – it's really exciting,” the 26-year-old said.
Sgt Maher attended Trinity Catholic College in Lismore and, after finishing Year 12, went straight into the RAAF in Adelaide.
“I guess I joined because I wanted career stability and I wanted a challenge,” she said.
“I have had a fantastic time – I've travelled a lot and met some really great people.”
Sgt Maher trained as a signals operator, doing analysis of foreign signals and radar signals, but now trains other people and is based in Toowoomba, Qld.
In 2003, just one month after finishing her basic training, Sgt Maher was sent to the Iraq war.
She describes it as a ‘good experience'.
“It was still the early days of the war,” she said.
“Going to Iraq was a real eye-opener for me, and I think it was also a good step for my career.”
Going into a war zone didn't faze Sgt Maher – she said she just went in and did the job she was sent to do.
“I was providing support to the aircraft,” she said. “You don't really think about anything else.”
Sgt Maher's parents, Dianne and Allan, who still live at Evans Head, said they were very proud of their daughter.
They said she had returned to the Northern Rivers twice to march in Anzac Day parades at Alstonville and Evans Head.