Brett and Shane Cooper - Australian Airforce personnel

Both Brett and Shane Cooper grew up in Churchill, and through hard work and dedication have achieved their goals to be in the Airforce and serve their country with pride and devotion both at home and overseas.
It all began when their parents Karen and Ernie were very supportive and encouraging for their boys in all aspects of their lives - school, sport and cadets. This meant that they made sure they were taken to and attended the training sessions.
As parents they believed that keeping the boys active and involved would keep them positive and focused on activities of benefit. This process has been very positive for Brett and Shane who have gone on to be well respected in their chosen fields of operation in the Airforce.
Because of the guidance and encouragement from their parents the boys believed in themselves and were focussed to achieve their goals.
Their work ethic began when their parents nurtured them and gave them the confidence to seek an afterschool or weekend job, which they took up.
They had instilled into them that if you want to you can achieve, as many children in Churchill have also proved.
Brett and Shane have worked to fulfil their dreams, but have also learnt that if the chosen path is blocked, changing course to another path can be as fulfilling.
The message is there are dreams and there are opportunities for young people today to take a positive step up, to do well if they choose to go and look.
Brett began his involvement with cadets at age 13. He enlisted in the 26th Air Training Corp at Traralgon in the rank of junior aircraftsman. He was promoted to Warrant Officer Discipline, the highest working cadet rank. He was seen as dedicated and as an above average cadet, who strived for the best not only as a cadet but in all he engaged in.
On April 17, 1996 he obtained a career in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He started as Aircraftsman and was promoted through to Current Flight Sergeant. As Air Field Defence Guard he worked at many RAAF bases within Australia and overseas. Flight Sergeant Cooper has also served on four tours of duty in the Middle East including one in Timor. Recently he served in the Exercise Pitch Black, the RAAF’s largest and most important international air defence exercise with several regional, coalition and allied Air Forces taking part.
Shane Cooper also began his involvement at age 13 when he enlisted in the 304 Army Regional Cadet Corp at Yallourn. He began in the rank of Junior Cadet Private and advanced to Cadet Under Officer WO2, the highest working cadet rank. Shane too was dedicated in all he did and was classed as an above average cadet who showed self-discipline and motivation.
On April 20, 1999 he obtained a career in the Royal Australian Air Force. He began as Aircraftsman and was promoted through to Current Sergeant. He has worked as a supplier and at flying squadrons, Defence Force Recruiting and as an instructor. Sergeant Cooper has previously served on Operation Anode (Solomon Islands) and is currently on his second tour of the Middle East on Operation Accordion. On this deployment Sargeant Cooper is AIC of Logistics Support Flight, where he facilitates base logistic support to task units based at Australia’s main airbase in the middle east, in support of Operation Okra.
Both Brett and Shane can be held up as positive role models.
On a recent trip to visit troops in the Middle East, MP Darren Chester enjoyed the opportunity to meet Shane Cooper. Mr Chester, who is the Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, had a picture taken with Shane who grew up in Churchill. Sergeant Cooper is married to Sharon who grew up in Morwell. They have two children Grady, aged 11, and Milla, aged six.