Many teams across Clough’s operations are backed by the skills and values of veterans from all walks of life, across the Army, Navy, Air Force, First Responders, and Cadets. We recognise the immeasurable contribution the veterans within our organisation bring to our business, and in recognition of Anzac Day 2024, we sat down with James Pascoe, Defence Sector Lead at Clough, and former Army Infantry Officer to learn more about what Anzac Day and working in the Defence sector means to him.

“I come from an extensive line of service personnel that extends beyond my grandparents’ generation. My mother was in the Royal Australian Air Force, and my father in the Army as an Electrical Engineer. 

"This meant that I had a strong connection to the services growing up, and I wanted to join from an early age. 

"I entered the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) where I studied my University of New South Wales (UNSW) undergraduate degree whilst conducting military training for 3 years. I then graduated to the Royal Military College Duntroon (RMC) where I spent 12 months training to be an officer. 

"Upon selection to the Royal Australian Infantry, I did time at the 3rd Battalion (Parachute) Royal Australian Regiment in Holsworthy, instructor postings around Australia, 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and finally as a Battle Captain in the Joint Operations Room at the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters where I discharged in 2017 ending my 11-year career in the Defence Force.

"Anzac Day holds a lot of significant to me, and to my family. Simply put, it’s about remembering and reflecting - what it meant for those who went before me, those that I was with, and those to come. I have lost some close friends over the years and so it is more important now that we do not commemorate ‘war’ but the people that were involved in them.

"We remember what they did and went through, we reflect on our own privileges and positions in society, and we connect with current or ex-service personnel to make sure they are not ‘lost’ into the future.
"For many, including myself, we sometimes lose ourselves when transitioning out of Defence, but on Anzac Day, many of us can collectively get together and connect no matter what we have done, and what we are doing now, and have that shared unity.

"One way that I choose to commemorate the day, is by attending the Dawn Service; it’s something so unique compared to any other type of remembrance activities. To stand in the stillness of the dawn in silence and hear the bugle like it was in Gallipoli is something many people will never forget. It’s also something that is easy to pass on to the next generation, for them to understand the significance of what has happened throughout our military history.

"Though my career has transitioned away from serving in the Defence force, I have followed a career path pursuing Defence projects.  

"I am the Defence Sector Lead for Clough, assisting the business in pursuing and winning Australian Defence infrastructure contracts. This ranges from gaining certification pre-quals to work with Defence, to understanding the geopolitical environment globally and domestically, what the ADF (Australian Defence Force) are looking to do, identifying projects and partners, building, and maintaining relationships, and bidding for Defence work.

"Anzac Day continues to give Australia and New Zealand a sense of national identity that flows into the need for the sovereign security of the region, which is why Defence projects are so important, and so rewarding to work on.

"When working on these projects, we instinctively draw from the values that have been instilled in our national identity from the Anzacs, working together as a team to get the job done, often in remote or arduous conditions. One of our current Defence projects highlights our capabilities to deliver under challenging conditions; the Lombrum Infrastructure Project in Papua New Guinea. Here, the naval base has been a key strategic point for Australia since WW2 and represents our deep ties to the people of PNG in the Kokoda Campaign of WW2.

"As we continue pursuing new Defence projects across the country, we will draw upon the skills of the veterans within the business - of which there are many - to build on our legacy and continue strengthening Australia’s security and Defence capabilities.”