News & Insights | Nurturing the future of the defence industry: Zoe’s journey through the Defence Industry Internship and Graduate Scholarship program

Nurturing the future of the defence industry: Zoe’s journey through the Defence Industry Internship and Graduate Scholarship program

8 January 2024

The Defence Industry Internship and Graduate Scholarship (DIIGS) program provides a gateway to unparalleled opportunities.

At the forefront of this is Zoe, an engineering student at the University of Western Australia and one of the first entrants into the program who has recently completed a successful placement at Onetide – an engineering organisation that provides innovative engineering solutions that enable game changing efficiencies, resulting in a lower carbon footprint.

Zoe embarked on her DIIGS journey with a Taster experience at Onetide after attending a mining showcase.

“I went to a mining showcase at the start of the year – there was a big defence section in the middle of the room, where I was able to talk to defence representatives,” Zoe explained.

“I spoke with the Defence West Director – Defence Industry Engagement, and explained my interest in Defence.

“From here I was introduced to Onetide and DIIGS.”

Zoe said one of the reasons she wanted to get involved in the defence industry was her upbringing.

“Moving to WA from Canberra, all I’ve known growing up is defence in Canberra,” she said.

“I have always seen defence as an important industry. I feel that with defence there is always going to be a need.

“It’s such a versatile industry with new technologies and a strong focus on innovation.”

The second-year student is full of praise for the way Onetide has complemented her studies.

“The way Onetide undertakes their engineering really supported my learning and has definitely enabled practical application of my studies,” Zoe said.

“It has been such an exciting way to see the engineering process from a different perspective – seeing something from end-to-end, I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

“As I am only in my second year, the learning curve has been really good – working my mind and working hard when there is not a set way already.

“Working with Onetide has provided me with a learning environment where there is no pressure, I have plenty of time to work it out.”

When choosing a highlight of her experience at Onetide, Zoe couldn’t go past her involvement with the Chief of Army Symposium 2023 and the ODIS facilitated Special Operations Command showcase.

“To be part of showcases where I was able to see other company’s technologies, and how Onetide presents their own products and capability to defence companies, I learnt a great deal and I gained an understanding of how everything fits together,” she said.

Zoe’s placement with Onetide has undeniably left a lasting impact, igniting her passion for the defence industry and a future career within it.

“I found working with Onetide very personable,” she explained.

“I had the opportunity for so many different experiences and opportunities to learn different things.

“This experience furthered my learning and showed me what defence has to offer.

“What excites me is the technological advancements – I think it’s important to be part of positive change through technological advancement.

“To me, working in defence there will always be a need – and there is a constant need for change and innovation.”

Zoe is grateful for the support Programmed Training Services (PTS) provided throughout her time in the program and recommends the DIIGS program to anyone considering joining.

“Get involved, participate in as many opportunities as you can – just do it,” she said.

“It is a great opportunity to have a first look in the defence industry.

“There are not many similar opportunities – DIIGS is the only such program in WA – so it’s a great opportunity to get onboard.

“I would 100% re-do the entire experience with Onetide as they made me feel very much at ease.

“I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Roy [Director of Systems Engineering] and Rebekah [Director of Operations] – they have been amazing, warmly welcomed me with open arms and were very generous of their time.”

Onetide are incredibly passionate about the work they do and understand the importance of helping the next generation to enhance their skills to provide support to the Defence sector.

Roy said he strongly supports the company’s participation in the DIIGS program.

“I feel I have got so much to give,” he said.

“I enjoy sharing my perspective on a different approach to delivering fit-for-purpose engineering and doing things differently.

“It has been great to bring Zoe along to showcases and provide her an overview of the broader defence network.”

Rebekah, co-founder of Onetide, said that the defence industry had an important role to play in fostering the industry’s future workforce.

“It is really incumbent on the defence industry to their impart knowledge to the next generation,” she said.

“There is a strong focus on Australian industry capability and the best way to nurture this is bolstering home grown talent through programs such as DIIGS.”

Both Rebekah and Roy have been very impressed by Zoe and the value that DIIGS has provided to everyone involved.

“Zoe has truly embraced the opportunity presented through DIIGS, she has not held back and fully participated in every challenge she was involved with,” Rebekah said.

“We have been able to provide a really varied learning experience, providing diverse opportunities.

“We are hoping Zoe will come back next year and work with us as a graduate within DIIGS so we can continue what has been a mutually beneficial journey.”

“DIIGS is a great opportunity to individuals that are interested in the defence industry and indeed to the host companies also.”

Rebekah is full of praise for the support PTS provided throughout the program.

“We came in its infancy, Merzieh [Training Coordinator, Programmed Training Services] was proactive, helpful and kept us informed,” Rebekah said.

“Merzieh made it really easy – PTS has made integrating Zoe seamless due to the clear process they have in place.

“The program and support provided was a connecting piece.”

When asked about what advice she would give to any businesses considering taking part in the program, Rebekah was keen to recommend that they give it a go.

“Do it, there’s nothing to be lost,” she said.

“We look forward to Onetide’s continued involvement with the DIIGS program through offering a broad range of scope and experiences.”

“We want to help showcase the extensive opportunities that exist within the defence ecosystem, from applied engineering knowledge, to real-world problem solving, through the breadth of capability that is required within a small defence industry business.

“We see this as a vital contribution Onetide can make to enhancing sovereign capability through nurturing interest and sharing our knowledge.”

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