By Lewis Batic
My name is Lewis Batic and I am a 2018 AVCAT and RSL QLD Scholar in my final year of a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) at James Cook University.
My father served in the Royal Australian Air Force for 27 years as an aeronautical engineer on platforms including the Chinook, Caribou and Hercules. He saw operational experience in East Timor before discharging as XO of 27SQN in Townsville. He is still involved with the aviation industry in the Northern Territory as General Manager of Alice Springs and Tennant Creek Airports.
Following in my father’s footsteps, my brother enlisted through ADFA as a Logistics Officer, and I through the 2015 Air Force Gap Year Program. On completion of the program, I transferred to the reserves within the Airbase Protection mustering and have recently applied for commission to Army Reserve Engineering Corps Officer.
When not studying, my other roles include student ambassador for Engineers Australia, Townsville Youth Councillor, and State Emergency Service member, where I was involved in the 2019 Townsville floods.
During my time at university, I was also fortunate enough to be selected to attend the 2020 Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Winter School. I was awarded the 2020 DFAT New Colombo Plan Scholarship to study, intern and learn a language in Japan and Nepal over 18 months, although these plans have been postponed due to COVID-19.
As I near the end of my degree and look to the future, I aim to continue my reserve service to the defence force and am excited at the prospect of joining full-time employment in a civil engineering role. I hope that, in this role, I can contribute to the development of infrastructure and betterment to the lives of people living in regional and rural communities across Australia.
I want to thank AVCAT and RSL QLD publicly for the financial assistance I have received as it has allowed me to focus solely on studies and volunteer work without compromising grades to fund living expenses. I have no doubt these organisations will continue to enable the access of ex-defence members and children of veterans to higher education.
Lewis was awarded the AVCAT RSL Queensland Scholarship in 2018.