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RAAF targets space recruits in cinematic campaign

The RAAF has unveiled a new recruitment campaign that aims to hire more young people to work in the space domain.

“Up There” will run across social, digital and outdoor advertising sites but is led by a Christopher Nolan-esque advert shot on high-definition gimbal cameras.

It comes amid reports that Defence is grappling with a wider talent shortage and as the space sector prepares for rapid growth over the next five years.

Speaking at a press conference in Perth over the weekend, Matt Keogh, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans’ Affairs, said the campaign aims to highlight not only piloting roles but technical fields such as mechanics, cyber warfare and space.


“Our Air Force is quite successful in its recruitment endeavours,” he said. “But the areas we really need to focus on around those engineering roles, those intelligence, cyber warfare, electronic warfare roles, and also this new space domain that is so critical now to the work that we do. They’re the areas we’re focused on growing.

“What we see with the focus on technological roles in our Defence Force is it reflects what we’re seeing across broader society. We need people that have got good STEM skills to come into our Defence Force.

“And it reflects as well, the way in which technology is evolving, we are much more reliant on technology in the way that we undertake all of our work across the Defence Force, whether it’s a fifth-generation fighter jet, all the way through to the work of our Navy, our Army, on the ground.


“And of course, the new domains of cyber and space really highlight how important it is having people with technical skills and knowledge and building those technical skills and knowledge within our Defence Force as well.”

Last month, ADF Chief General Angus Campbell told Senate Estimates that overall, Defence was around 4,300 people short of its authorised strength.

“It puts stress across the entire organisation in terms of being able to train and recruit, to conduct activity, to sustain our people, support their families, and continue our tempo of activity, both internationally and domestically,” he said.

“As an example, our aspiration for recruiting is higher than it might otherwise be because we’re trying to fill the hole that has been established. That means we need to see more people working in our recruiting system and more people working in our initial induction training recruit system and early employment system.”

Space Connect reported last year how Australia’s military Space Command formally shifted from operating within the Air Force to being within the ADF’s Joint Capabilities Group. However, there is still a significant crossover between the different warfighting domains.

The newly formed No. 1 Space Surveillance Unit (1SSU), for example, which oversees Defence’s space domain awareness capabilities, is based at RAAF Base Edinburgh. The former head of Defence Space Command, Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts, was also from the RAAF.

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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