Babcock Australasia’s Head of Commercial – Aviation, Matthew Glynn, has a wealth of military experience with the Australian Army. Matthew’s military career as a Helicopter Pilot and Flying Instructor extended over 15 great years, saw him deploy and live across the world, and nurtured friendships that continue to prosper almost two decades after service.
Throughout my life, my connection to Anzac Day has deepened from my own military career, my current civilian role at Babcock, and learning the stories and sacrifices of service personnel, both past and present.
I first began participating in Anzac Day commemorations as a teenager in the Air Training Corps. In 1999, during my time as a Helicopter Pilot for the Australian Army, I deployed to East Timor as part of International Force East Timor (INTERFET) flying Black Hawk aircraft. After this, I experienced a ten-year stint as a Flying Instructor on the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Tiger project.
During my time as a Flying Instructor, I had the opportunity to visit the Western Front battlefields and cemeteries whilst living in France. Here, the profound sacrifices made by many Australians during World War I is stark. The Australian National Memorial stands within Villers-Bretonneux (VB) Military Cemetery – a location that holds monuments engraved with the names of the missing. At VB and Ypres, the monuments commemorate thousands of men and boys who never returned home from the First World War. I have travelled back to France since this time to visit the memorials for a Dawn Service at VB, tacked onto a trip to accept a helicopter with Babcock.
‘Lest we forget’ – This simple phrase is both a requiem and a warning. Anzac Day is a time to remember all those who gave their life serving as well as those who made their way home and experienced ongoing pain. It is a time to pay respect to the families of those who lost their loved ones to war and had no grave to attend. It is important to acknowledge the experiences and sacrifices of past service personnel and recognise what they faced, should we need to face it again.
Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) has its roots in the military. Working in Aviation & Critical Services at Babcock means I help to ensure ongoing access to emergency medical services for people around Australia, whether they live in rural or urban communities. HEMS is a modern version of the stretcher-bearers who transported the wounded off the battlefield in the Great War through World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The readiness and rapid response of Babcock’s HEMS operations are standards that have originated from military aeromedical service.
I am deeply proud to have served in the Australian Army, to contribute to something greater than myself, and play a role in protecting our country. The people I served alongside are some of the best people I have ever met. It is an honour to have worked with them and to continue to call them my mates today, 18 years after my military discharge.