Compass Group Australia’s RISE program incorporated into Defence Australia partnership, meet Lilly and Kiera

Compass Group Australia is proud of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our RISE program provides opportunities for young people who identify as having a disability to kickstart their careers and gain lifelong skills in a team environment and safe workspace. It is a Compass Group Australia wide initiative created and delivered in conjunction with MAX Employment, one of our preferred Disability Employment Service (DES) Partners.  

We are thrilled to have incorporated RISE into our partnership with the Australian Defence Force, an established and proven initiative that will help support our shared commitment and dedication to diversity and inclusion – accelerating the outcomes we have already been able to deliver together. 

Compass Group Australia and the Australian Defence Force are proud to have placed over 50 people living with disabilities into our Defence Life team over the course of our partnership. 

We exceeded our target of 10 placements in 2023 with 22 new employees joining us across the country and 8 so far for 2024. We look forward to continuing to grow these numbers with the introduction of RISE and augmenting the commitment Compass Group and the Australian Defence Forces have to diversity and inclusion by supporting young people like Lilly and Kiera. Find out more about them below.


Meet Lilly, our first ever Defence team member employed through RISE. Lilly comes to us from Bremer State High School and has joined the Defence Life team at RAAF Amberly to undertake two days of paid work each week.  

Lilly and her Mum were excited about finding the right opportunity for her to start work. As a disability-confident employer and member of the Australia Network on Disability, Compass Group Australia presented the perfect opportunity.  

After a tour of the Airmen’s Mess Hall, a meeting with her Compass Group Australia supervisor, and most importantly mum’s tick of approval, Lilly felt comfortable and confident to accept the position of Food and Beverage Attendant at the Amberley base. When day 1 arrived, a team member from MAX Employment was onsite to support Lilly through the onboarding process. Lilly was also pleasantly surprised to learn that the supervisor that worked with her mum all those years ago was also going to be her new supervisor! 

Lilly has kick started her career with Compass Group Australia with the help of Defence Australia and is now learning lifelong skills in a talented team environment and safe workspace. 


Kiera joined us at RMC Duntroon in December 2023, working alongside Debbie in a back of house kitchen role. We caught up with her on her experiences so far:  

What made you want to study Hospitality? 

My father likes cooking, I like cooking cakes and pastry items and studying hospitality has improved my knowledge of how to cook certain dishes. The first cake course I attended is what inspired me to follow cooking as a career.  

Is there a role that you aspire to or would like to pursue (i.e. Chef, Manager etc) within hospitality? 

I would like to become a pastry chef or cook café style foods. 

What do you enjoy most about working with the team at RMC Duntroon? 

Debbie is very nice and the energy within the kitchen.  

Lilly and Kiera have both quickly become integral members of our Defence Life teams at RAAF Amberly and RMC Duntroon, thriving in their roles and better equipping us to serve the forces that serve our country. We look forward to welcoming more young people through our RISE program at Defence Australia sites over the course of the year and beyond.


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