Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm



In my first few weeks at the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1987, many of my colleagues resigned and left during the initial training period. I remember my drill sergeant telling us one evening that once you started quitting it could quickly become a habit and before you knew it you would become a quitter. He told us to not quit for one more day and then one more week and before we knew it, we had finished initial training. I remember thinking of quitting most days but was determined to give it “one more day”. Never give up. Just get back up off the canvas and don’t quit for just one more day.

For me leadership is about trying to help people understand their own strengths and to recognise them. I had some terrific mentors who believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. Doing everything I can to support and encourage my team and those around me is my most important focus. Learning what makes people tick and establishing trust is vital. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

BSc, 1989

Part of the Facing Equality Series