Groundbreaking Work on Women, Peace, and Mental Health Earns Prestigious Conspicuous Service Cross

Squadron Leader Del Gaudry has been awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the implementation of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and her contributions to the welfare and mental well-being of Royal Australian Air Force members.

Speaking about the award, Squadron Leader Gaudry, who has served in the RAAF for just on 25 years, expressed her gratitude and described her work as a privilege.

SQNLDR Gaudry who started life in the Women’s Royal Australian Air Force (WRAAF), has been in and out of the Service over the past 47 years in both the permanent and Reserves.

“I am incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this recognition at the end of my Air Force career.  It has been a privilege to serve in the Air Force and to contribute towards the welfare and well-being of its members. I am particularly proud of the work we have done to integrate a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and peace processes, and to support the return, resettlement, and reintegration of individuals in post-conflict settings,” she said.

SQNLDR Gaudry said that early intervention strategies were critical for improving workforce sustainment and maintaining operational effectiveness.

“I believe it’s important to incorporate more contemporary Mental Health training aimed at early intervention rather than recovery strategies and treatments,” she said.

“If we can detect early signs and symptoms of mental health conditions we can help our members to receive help earlier prevent worsening conditions. The day we can treat all physical and mental injuries with the same compassion and urgency will be a turning point in society.”

SQNLDR Gaudry has been a strong advocate for the inclusion of coaching and Mental Health First Aid as part of RAAF training initiatives aimed at improving Human Performance.

SQNLDR Gaudry’s contributions have made a significant impact on the Air Force and on the well-being of its members. Her dedication and commitment to improving mental health training and support have been particularly noteworthy.