Shae O’Neill
Officer Cadet (OFFCDT)
Royal Australian Air Force

My name is Shae O’Neill, and I am a proud Dharug woman.

In 2019, I graduated from Trinity Christian School in Canberra and then relocated to Wagga Wagga to commence my Veterinary Technology degree at Charles Sturt University. During my duration there, I engaged in rugby union with a diverse team, offering me a profound insight into various cultural perspectives. This experience ignited a passion within me to express my cultural learnings through painting, reflecting its significance to my identity.

During my second year at CSU, I encountered challenges regarding the future of my degree. So, in March 23, I started a Supply Gap year with the RAAF. Following my job training, I was posted to RAAF Richmond, where I used the opportunity to delve deeper into my Indigenous heritage, immersing myself in various community engagement events.

In January 24, I transitioned to ADFA, beginning a new academic journey studying a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Business, aspiring to become a Logistics Officer. During my time at ADFA, I’ve actively participated in Indigenous work experience programs, sharing my knowledge with those around me.

Being the third member of my family to serve in the RAAF fills me with great pride. The bonds I’ve formed hold significant weight in my life, especially since joining the defense force and recognising the importance of knowledge-sharing and mutual support. Supported by my partner Andrew of five years, who takes care of our two Kelpie dogs, Lady and Diesel, I am fortunate to pursue my passion as a member of the ADF while also representing the First Nations peoples who have served before me.