News & Insights | ‘Where are they now?’ – Imogen’s journey into Defence with Thales

‘Where are they now?’ – Imogen’s journey into Defence with Thales

21 November 2023

Imogen Troeger’s journey through the Defence Industry Pathways Program (DIPP) is nothing short of inspiring.

With a background in electronics and engineering, Imogen wanted to get her “foot in the door of the defence industry” and found herself in the Program’s sixth intake – ultimately progressing from a trainee exploring her opportunities, to a Junior Field Service Technician at Thales.

“I joined the Defence Industry Pathways Program to get my foot in the door of the defence industry,” Imogen explains.

“I had prior experience in the electronics and engineering field but was interested in exploring what else this industry had to offer.

“The Program supported me in expanding my knowledge in a variety of areas through the training at SM TAFE.

“It also gave me the opportunity to work closely with Thales before being directly employed with them, which gave me a head start into the workplace.”

Grateful for the “incredible” support from Programmed, Imogen says the Program was not only educational but also enjoyable.

“Programmed showed an incredible amount of support towards the trainees throughout the Program, whether it was group discussions or one-on-one check-ups,” she said.

“All members showed immense dedication to helping us succeed – all Programmed employees made great effort in making this traineeship enjoyable.”

The decision to join Thales at the end of her traineeship was an easy one for Imogen, who obtained significant experience with the organisation throughout her time in the Program.

“During my traineeship as part of the program I was placed with Thales, and I spent the year exploring how their company operates,” she said.

“During my explorations I found an interest in the types of testing and maintenance performed on the Collins Class Submarines, which is why I chose to take the opportunity with Thales.

“My position as a Junior Field Service Technician consists of conducting maintenance and repair tasks to the Sensor systems fitted to the Collins Class Submarines.

“My role also consists of developing documents and recording information, as well as assisting the Inventory Management Team when required.

Looking forward, Imogen knows exactly where she wants to be.

“My career goals and development within Thales is to complete a qualification in a Certificate IV in Electronics and no longer be a junior,” she said.

“Programmed showed an incredible amount of support towards the trainees throughout the Program.”

Imogen Troeger

Phillip Stephan, Operational Maintenance Manager at Thales, said that while it can be difficult for people to get into the defence industry, the program provides that opportunity for trainees – and Imogen’s integration into the team was a prime example.

“It can be challenging for individuals to try and get into the defence industry,” Phillip said.

“Ultimately, DIPP provides trainees access to defence industry by giving them baseline training and placing them within the industry to gain practical experience.

“Imogen came to us as part of Women in Defence with South Metropolitan TAFE and then went on to complete this Program.

“Imogen was successful in placement and integrated well with the team – she was focussed on her career path.”

Phillip explained there is a “pathway” available for Imogen – and other trainees – to follow.

“We mapped out not only her secondment placements but her career pathway going forward,” he said.

“Imogen is now a Junior Field Service Technician and is completing studies with South Metropolitan TAFEto upskill under her traineeship and progress into an electronics technician role.

“Imogen can go as far with Thales as she wants to go – I started as a technician, and moved into management, so there is a pathway for growth and advancement.”

“The types of placements we support are predominantly technical or logistic/inventory support, but also include project administration or experience in system and software engineering,” he said.

“Thales, as part of the program, has also been involved in assessment centres, steering committees, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander intake and mentoring sessions.”

For anyone thinking of joining the program, Phillip encourages them to do so.

“Get on board,” he said.

“It’s a great mechanism to engage with fresh, outside-of-industry individuals or school leavers keen on starting their career in the defence industry.

“The DIPP is providing a solution for the current resource demand by providing foundational training and opportunity of secondment in the defence industry.”

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