Sarah Turner – A true inspiration for International Women’s Day 2021

We are honoured to introduce Sarah Turner who is our guest speaker at International Women’s Day on the 7th March 2021, at the Pullman International Cairns.

Sarah is a Veteran, her father is a Vietnam Veteran, and her grandfather is a World War II Veteran. It was in her blood before it was her time.

Sarah completed her final year of school in 1996 and was successful in her application for a scholarship to the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). At 17 she started her Naval career, and graduated 3 years later with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics. By 21 Sarah was a qualified warfare officer and veteran of the Gulf War. At 23 she was one of the youngest ever qualified female Navigators. Before her 28th birthday she had completed a Post Graduate study at the University of Plymouth and was classified an International Category A Hydrographic Surveyor.

Sarah’s career has seen her serve on many platforms including HMAS Kanimbla, Melbourne, Anzac, Mermaid, Paluma, Melville, and Leeuwin. Sarah filled the role as the Officer of the Watch and Boarding Party Officer in the Persian Gulf during Operational Slipper.

Her career highlights included opening the Friendship Bridge in Ho Chi Minh City in 2000, finding and rescuing a stranded English yachtsman in the Indian Ocean during treacherous sea conditions, and sailing the then new HMAS Mermaid to the Kimberly to retrace the path of the original survey vessel HMS Mermaid.

During her 13 years service Sarah filled many leadership roles including the coordination of international deployments, leading the Australian Border Force, and Search and Rescue operations. Sarah was awarded the “Hugh Pathard” memorial award for excellence in Leadership.

It was after her full career of achievements that the trauma from her service started to raise its head and the high functioning anxiety were deeply impacting her professional life and she could no longer hide behind her “mask of perfection” any longer. It 2010 Sarah was subsequently medically discharged from the military with PTSD.

After falling pregnant with her first child the same year of her discharge, Sarah made the brave decision to heal her past trauma and create a new future for her family. She knew the cyclical pattern of trauma and was determined to not pass this legacy to her children.

To find out how Sarah has overcome her trauma and lives her life now as a busy mum of 3, business owner and creator of Dijolife, while being an amazing wife to Chad (not necessarily in that order) click here to purchase your tickets to International Women’s Day 2021 and hear her inspirational story



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