FAMILY is an important part of life in the Royal Australian Air Force and Mrs Joyce Small knows the importance of community in supporting the Australian Defence Force lifestyle.
Joyce has enjoyed a varied life in Air Force and is currently the Community Support Coordinator for Network Tindal, an organisation that provides support to the RAAF Base Tindal community.
She joined the Air Force as an Air Combat Officer in 2000 pursuing a career that had both challenge and stability.
She readily found this challenge and excitement with her most memorable time being the 2004 Rim of the Pacific Exercise followed back to back with a deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations.
Seeing Joyce’s challenging but rewarding career prompted her husband, Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Michael Small to join as an Air Traffic Controller in 2005.
When Joyce and Michael made the decision to start a family, Joyce was well supported by her Chain of Command at the then School of Air Warfare. She worked part time, which provided the flexibility she needed for a young family.
With three young and boisterous boys Joyce became a stay at home mum and learnt how integral a community network is in supporting the military way of life.
In 2018 the Small family were posted to RAAF Base Tindal where Michael was posted to Number 452 Squadron and Joyce decided to focus her energy on the Tindal community by becoming a part of Network Tindal.
“Anyone who has been posted to Tindal knows the importance of Network Tindal," Joyce said.
"We provide support to the Tindal and Katherine network through facilitating recreation, hobby and social activities.
“Tindal is in a remote part of the Northern Territory so people need a support network to help them navigate the ups and downs.
"Network Tindal plays an important bridging role in creating opportunities for base personnel and families to make meaningful community connections.
“As the Community Support Coordinator I plan and execute events that bring the community together. These are fun activities and one of my favourite so far was the Network Tindal 5km base colour run.
“There is something about getting splashed with coloured powder that makes you feel like a kid again!
“I’m really proud of the work Network Tindal does and my family love being a part of the RAAF Base Tindal community,” she said.
Joyce is about to start the next facet of her RAAF career and plans to return as a Reservist in the near future.