Understanding and accepting the value that comes from being unique has been a life journey for Pilot Officer Gulman Kaur Madahar.

As an air traffic controller at RAAF Base Amberley, Pilot Officer Madahar migrated with her family from India to Australia as a child.

Pilot Officer Madahar said as she got older she realised you shouldn’t have to change yourself to belong.

“I wanted to be a good Indian daughter in the community and at the same time did not want to miss out on being Australian,” Pilot Officer Madahar said.

“I joined Air Force because I wanted to do something no woman in our family had done before and take advantage of the opportunities offered to me in this country.

“It wasn’t until I joined the ADF and found opportunities to define myself as I wanted, that I found an appreciation for both the cultures.”

Pilot Officer Madahar said being open to different views and perspectives allows us to be better team players and problem solvers – an essential element to the effective delivery of air and space power for the joint force. 

“As the only air traffic controller of Punjabi heritage at my unit, I bring a different perspective of the world,” Pilot Officer Madahar said.

“My workplace is a big team environment in which we spend hours controlling together. My biggest goal is to be understood and to understand.

“We all work together with our combined knowledge, skills and experiences to deliver the best air traffic control service we can, and a respect for diversity allows Air Force to be inclusive, innovative and agile.”

Picture Royal Australian Air Force’s Pilot Officer Gulman Madahar, of No. 452 Squadron, in front of the current air traffic control tower at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Photo: Corporal Brett Sherriff.

This article first appeared here