When Army Reservist Ayrton Costanzo signed up to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in 2017, he never thought he would be called up to help communities recover from the devastating bushfires in Victoria.
Private Costanzo is a driver in the Transport Corp with the Army’s 4th Brigade, Combat Service Support Battalion based in Melbourne, Victoria. He was deployed last week on Operation Bushfire Assist 2019-20, and has been tasked with maintaining supplies of food and drinking water to communities who are currently isolated by the bushfires.
“I find the work really rewarding and I am willing to be here as long as it takes to get the job done,” Private Costanzo said.
Private Costanzo’s civilian role is a Human Resources specialist with multi-national professional services firm, Ernst and Young (EY).
“EY has been great since I joined the Army Reserve. I have had time off to undertake my basic training and then again to complete my driver training and they have been extremely supportive.”
During the current bushfire emergency, EY is providing uncapped paid leave for reservists and emergency services volunteers.
EY Oceania Talent Director, Elisa Colak said that the company was pleased to support reservists such as Private Costanzo.
“EY is very proud and supportive of all our reservists,” Ms Colak said.
“We acknowledge that skills such as self-discipline, diligence, passion, commitment and loyalty developed in the ADF are of significant benefit to EY.
“Ayrton is an outstanding member of the EY team, he is dedicated and highly valued.”
Reserve and Youth Division Head, Rear Admiral Brett Wolski acknowledged the support provided by EY and thanked the thousands of employers across Australia who support their ADF reservist employees.
“Part of my Division’s core business is to provide a link between the ADF, employers and the community,” Rear Admiral Wolski said.
“Defence is working with employers and ADF reservists to ensure availability of skilled soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen to serve as part of Operation Bushfire Assist.
“Operation Bushfire Assist is a multi-agency approach, where the ADF is standing shoulder to shoulder with relevant state government agencies to provide a coordinated response.
“I thank all employers who actively support reservists and in turn, allow the ADF to work collaboratively with other agencies to help the community.”