Major Renee Kidson
Renee Kidson (Army Reservist) – From Met Bureau to East Timor.
Parramatta’s Dr Renée Kidson normally works the Bureau of Meteorology but for the last eight months she has been living her other life — in East Timor as a Major in the Army Reserve. This is Renée’s first overseas deployment.
“I was a city kid who dreamt of the bush,” she said. “Having grown up doing academic work, I was very interested in learning some practical, hands-on skills such as field craft and navigation.
Renee has been based at the headquarters of the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force in Dili.
“In Dili I plan for future activities,” Renee said “This can be demanding work but it is very rewarding – especially when you see how we are helping the people of East Timor.”
Military skills are a family tradition in the Kidson family.
“My father served as a reservist during the Vietnam era,” said Renée. ‘My paternal grandfather served in WWII, and my maternal great-grandfather served in WWI.”
“I wanted to be a person who would make a solid contribution to society - to challenge myself and gain leadership skills and experience,” she said.
“The Army Reserve was the perfect place to do that.”
Renée was due to return to Australia in February, and as her deployment drew to a close, she found time to reflect upon her experience in East Timor.
One highlight for Renee was hosting Parramatta MP, Ms Julie Owen, but her last word is reserved for the people of East Timor.
“The East Timorese people deserve peace and stability — I am glad I have played a small part in helping them progress towards it.”