Stories

LT COL Melanie Childs

Lieutenant Colonel Mel Childs of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistics Regiment has been in the New Zealand Army for more than 25 years and in this interview she talks about her career, her operational deployments to Timor Leste, Afghanistan and South Sudan and how being a female in the Army has changed in the time she has been serving.

Janet Castell – Pioneering female leader

Lieutenant Colonel Janet Castell MNZM (retired) is an iconic figure in the New Zealand Army. Janet joined the Army as a young woman in the mid-1970’s and took a place on the first commissioning course which accepted females as Officer Cadets to train alongside males in pursuit of a Commission in the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army. With characteristic bluntness, self-deprecation and a healthy dose of humour Janet tell the story of how she came to enlist, gained a commission, and blazed a trail for all aspiring female officers. With no career manual, no peer group to advise her, and nobody’s footsteps to follow in Janet Castell was a true trailblazer. Janet held a fascinating range of appointments and on her eventual retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel was deservedly made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

Samantha Carter – A long day off the Somali Coast

Royal New Zealand Navy Petty Officer Samantha Carter deployed to the Indian Ocean on anti-piracy operations whilst on attachment to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). During this deployment Samantha was employed as a crew member on the Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) which the RAN boarding parties used to get alongside the suspected pirate vessels. In this clip Samantha tells of the tension and drama but complete professionalism of the sailors during one such boarding.

Samantha has spent twelve years in the senior service and in a longer clip on our website, reflects on her time in uniform and how proud she was to become the first female senior rate in her trade.

LT COL Melanie Childs

Lieutenant Colonel Mel Childs of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistics Regiment has been in the New Zealand Army for more than 25 years and in this interview she talks about her career, her operational deployments to Timor Leste, Afghanistan and South Sudan and how being a female in the Army has changed in the time she has been serving.

Annie Buckley MBE ARRC and the Hallway Gong

In the hallway of my house in Wellington hangs a brass gong that was bought in a market in Cairo over 100 years ago. I walk past it several times a day and it hangs as a silent reminder of a time and a place, literally, a world away. The gong was purchased and brought back to New Zealand by Annie Buckley who had traveled to the Middle East as a nursing sister with New Zealand troops fighting in the First World War…this is her story.
Janet Castell – Pioneering female leader

Lieutenant Colonel Janet Castell MNZM (retired) is an iconic figure in the New Zealand Army. Janet joined the Army as a young woman in the mid-1970’s and took a place on the first commissioning course which accepted females as Officer Cadets to train alongside males in pursuit of a Commission in the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army. With characteristic bluntness, self-deprecation and a healthy dose of humour Janet tell the story of how she came to enlist, gained a commission, and blazed a trail for all aspiring female officers. With no career manual, no peer group to advise her, and nobody’s footsteps to follow in Janet Castell was a true trailblazer. Janet held a fascinating range of appointments and on her eventual retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel was deservedly made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

Samantha Carter – A long day off the Somali Coast

Royal New Zealand Navy Petty Officer Samantha Carter deployed to the Indian Ocean on anti-piracy operations whilst on attachment to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). During this deployment Samantha was employed as a crew member on the Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) which the RAN boarding parties used to get alongside the suspected pirate vessels. In this clip Samantha tells of the tension and drama but complete professionalism of the sailors during one such boarding.

Samantha has spent twelve years in the senior service and in a longer clip on our website, reflects on her time in uniform and how proud she was to become the first female senior rate in her trade.

Mel Childs - Under Fire in South Sudan

Lieutenant Colonel Mel Childs of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistics Regiment has been in the New Zealand Army for more than 25 years and in this interview she talks about her career, her operational deployments to Timor Leste, Afghanistan and South Sudan and how being a female in the Army has changed in the time she has been serving.

Annie Buckley MBE ARRC and the Hallway Gong
Written by Jeremy Seed on March 31 2021

In the hallway of my house in Wellington hangs a brass gong that was bought in a market in Cairo over 100 years ago. I walk past it several times a day and it hangs as a silent reminder of a time and a place, literally, a world away. The gong was purchased and brought back to New Zealand by Annie Buckley who had traveled to the Middle East as a nursing sister with New Zealand troops fighting in the First World War…this is her story.

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