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Australian Maritime College recognised for work supporting reservists

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PERFECT PARTNERS: AMC Search manager and reservist Chris White, UTAS people officer Jill Bye and AMC principal Michael van Balen. Picture: Caitlin Jarvis, The Examiner

When bushfires ravaged Kangaroo Island, reservists from all across Australia jumped into action.

One of those reservists was employed at the University of Tasmania, and the institution recently been recognised for its flexible work practices to allow reservists to participate when duty calls.

Reservist and AMC Search manager Chris White said after a long career in the Navy, being part of the reservist network allowed him to give back in a reduced capacity.

He said UTAS and the AMC was flexible in allowing him to fully participate in his reservist work, while also flexibly manage his other professional work with the tertiary education provider.

"It has allowed me to take time off to complete my contract work, or project work, without having it compete with my professional duties. UTAS is really flexible in that you can manage your time somewhat in advance, to rearrange or reschedule other duties," Mr White said.

UTAS people officer Jill Bye said the university and AMC wanted to be flexible in supporting its employees in their other personal pursuits, whether that's in the reservist arena or not.

"It's about us [UTAS] supporting our employees and allowing us to be good global citizens," she said.

"We always talk about being a place-based institution, and this flexibility allows us to support the holistic skills of our employees. But we also get back from that improved skills and knowledge transfer to support us academically from those who are engaged in the reservists."

AMC Search and UTAS employees can access defence leave, which is extra leave on top of their sick, annual and personal leave allocations.

Mr White said in the past he had used his leave to conduct training work for the Navy, which can be done remotely, but it allows him to focus on one task without it competing professionally.

First published by The Examiner on Thursday 3rd December 2020

Published on: 08 Dec 2020