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Major Sarah Raymond (1994): Brigade Legal Officer in the Australian Army
It was a love of ancient history fostered at Wenona that led Sarah Raymond down her stimulating, challenging and diverse career path, starting with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in in Near Eastern Archaeology.
"After my BA, I continued with my love of history and went on to do my Masters in Heritage Conservation; a degree with a more Australian focus." After a year’s break from study working in the service industry, Sarah embarked on a law degree. "My idea was to work in the heritage conservation area, but to approach it from a legal aspect. I wanted to explore the legalities around building preservation and uncovering archaeological remains."
Sarah was quickly offered two jobs – one in a start-up legal firm, and the other in the Army. Sarah chose the Army. "It sounded so exciting. Based in Canberra, I looked after day-to-day army issues from personnel matters to accidents in the field." Sarah commenced her training course at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. "This was a big departure for me. I went from the legal offices to carrying ration packs, sleeping out in the cold and applying camouflage paint." Sarah enjoyed being subjected to the rigours and rules of army life: learning to salute, ironing uniforms and lifting fitness standards.
A cold case investigation dating back to World War II saw Sarah digging out records, recovering death certificates and medical records and visiting the War Memorial to seek information relating to weapons systems for a family wanting to know what happened to two brothers killed during the war.
Sarah counts her four-month deployment to the United Arab Emirates as one of her career highlights. "The Army offers families flexibility and support. While I was away, officers came and spent time with my children at school, giving them ‘defence bears,’ taking them to lunch and making them feel special."
Posted to the Northern Territory in January this year, Sarah is currently the Brigade Legal Officer, in charge of the legal cell. Sarah’s focus is the continual review of operational law, military disciplinary guidelines and dealing with personnel issues.
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