Warrant Officer Maeve Tennent is the RAAF’s longest-serving female member after completing an impressive 45 years of service.
Warrant Officer Maeve Tennent is the RAAF’s longest-serving female member after completing an impressive 45 years of service. Department of Defence.

45 years in RAAF have flown by

A GIRL who grew up in Murwillumbah has gone on to become the longest- serving woman in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Warrant Officer Maeve Tennent was this week awarded for her record service with her second Federation Star.

The award was presented at the RAAF Base Amberley, where the 63-year-old has been based for the past 20 years.

Mrs Tennent still does her physical training and annual weapons training at the base after 45 years in the RAAF.

At the award ceremony she revealed much had changed for women since she joined the RAAF as a stewardess in 1966.

“There really wasn't a lot of opportunity for girls back then, but we did our fair share of the work,” Mrs Tennent said.

At just 22, Mrs Tennent reached sergeant, and in 1977 equal opportunity allowed her to be promoted to warrant officer.

She has served across the country, but has been stationed at Amberley, the RAAF's largest base, since 1991.

“I was lost for words,” Mrs Tennent said of the award.

“It was a real surprise, but 45 years doesn't seem like that long.”



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