Haywood draws on inspirational logistics

24/11/2014 - 10:04

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When the HMAS Toowoomba leaves Cockburn Sound on deployments as far away as the Middle East, maritime logistics officer Kelly Haywood is in charge of making sure the vessel has everything it needs to make the journey and accomplish the mission.

Haywood draws on inspirational logistics
OVERSIGHT: Kelly Haywood’s role carries significant responsibility. Photo: ADF

When the HMAS Toowoomba leaves Cockburn Sound on deployments as far away as the Middle East, maritime logistics officer Kelly Haywood is in charge of making sure the vessel has everything it needs to make the journey and accomplish the mission.

The Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate has a crew of about 190, and must be largely self-sufficient for weeks on end.

In her specialist role, Officer Haywood manages all the ship’s stores, is responsible for sourcing food for all meals, and oversees the medical department and all administrative and finance functions involved in managing a $500,000 annual budget for general operations.

For her efforts with the RAN – which included saving Defence more than $5 million during a submarine search and rescue mission, and managing logistics for the $520 million anti-ship missile defence project – Officer Haywood was last year named Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year.

Currently overseas after eight months away from base, Officer Haywood told Business News she loved the planning and challenges involved, including diplomatic clearances, customs, time differences and programs changing at short notice.

“Not only is my business logistics, my business is also serving my country, (it’s) making sure our warships and people are supported to fight and win at sea,” she said.

“My business is my people and ensuring I motivate, lead and inspire them every day.”

Officer Haywood has also raised tens of thousands of dollars for charities to prevent suicide, is writing a book, and preparing to raise more funds and awareness by cycling through Cambodia next year.

Her energy reflects a harrowing connection with the issue. When Officer Haywood was eight, her mum took her own life. Since then she has had lost other friends, family and colleagues the same way.

“I will dedicate the rest of my life trying to prevent suicide devastating someone else’s life,” Officer Haywood said.

“I could have let childhood tragedy and other losses in my life dictate who I became, but I wasn’t prepared to let that rule my life.

“My story shows what can be achieved by a woman in the Australian Defence Force or any career no matter what challenges life throws your way.

 “You can give up, you can give in or you can give it all you’ve got.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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