RSL Queensland veteran

Serving a cause greater than himself

Louise Liddiard-Smith 11 July 2019

Following an 11-year career in Defence, James De Angelis accepted a role with RSL Queensland that has allowed him to continue his passion for helping others.

James De Angelis was just 17 when he joined the Army with the dream of serving a cause greater than himself. Over the next 11 years, he served as a rifleman and a medic and was deployed overseas four times.

James De Angelis

Being on the ground in countries like Afghanistan and seeing the difference the ADF was making in the lives of local people was a highlight. Having the tribal elders or the villagers come out to us and thank us for keeping them safe; that was quite rewarding,” James says.

However, when he married and started having children it became more difficult to leave his young family for long deployments and training exercises and he decided to discharge. Although James secured a role with RSL Queensland before he left Defence, the move was still challenging. “Transitioning out – and the Army having been my only job ever – it was quite a culture shock coming into a civilian organisation,” James explains. As he discovered though, a supportive workplace can make all the difference during the critical transition process. “From the day I was interviewed until now, I felt like my greater workplace has been nothing but supportive in assisting me with that transition,” James says.

In his role as an Employment Program Officer in Veteran Services, James uses his personal experiences to support veterans and their partners to get back into the workforce. “We are able to provide assistance in all the behind the scenes things that go into getting a job. CV development, career direction, interview skills, as well as partnering them and pointing them in the right direction of the line of work that they want to get into,” James says. Helping his clients get back into the workforce is the most rewarding part of his post-Defence career. “The most satisfying thing is getting that phone call – be it from a veteran or a partner – telling us they have secured a role,” James says.

Just as he joined the Army with the dream of serving a cause greater than himself, James now proudly works at RSL Queensland making a real difference in the lives of the Defence family. “This is a great organisation full of great people that really care about a great cause.”

To find out more about the RSL Queensland employment program click here.

  • Veteran stories