Inspirational Women Series:

Brigadier Susan Coyle

Brigadier Susan Coyle has used her strength, determination, heart and drive to rise through the ranks of the Australian Army, becoming a role model for many along the way. 


She has commanded at every rank including Commanding Officer of the 17th Signal Regiment, as the inaugural Commander Task Group Afghanistan and as Commander 6th Brigade. 


A host of degrees sit firmly under her belt including; a Bachelor of Science, Master of Strategic Studies, Master in Organisational Development and Strategic Human Resource Management and Master of Management in Defence Studies.


Her dedication and service has been rewarded several times over with a Distinguished Service Medal, a Conspicuous Service Cross, a Chief of Joint Operations Command Commendation, Commander Australian Theatre Commendation and, during a stint in the United States Army as a Captain, the U.S. Army Commendation Medal. 


Balancing work with family life produces even more of a challenge when both parents are in the Army, but somehow they have managed to raise three wonderful children in amongst their many career achievements. 

The importance of "down time" isn't lost on Susan, when she is off-duty, there's nothing she loves more than losing herself in some musical theatre or a good book. An avid traveller, whilst she has seen much of the world through her work, she loves experiencing new places, especially with her family by her side. 

Biz Gals: What is your greatest achievement? 

Susan: Personally – becoming a mother. Professionally, balancing a wonderful family with a fantastic career.


Biz Gals: What is the greatest lesson you have learnt? 

Susan: You have to be authentic. Be yourself always and trust your intuition.


Biz Gals: What is the best bit of advice you have been given? 

Susan: Aim high, and then aim higher. Anything is possible if you are prepared to work for it.


Biz Gals: What or who inspires you? 

Susan: Everyone I meet has the ability to inspire me. I am naturally a positive person, and I am drawn to like-minded individuals.


Biz Gals: What is your biggest hope for women in the future? 

Susan: That we stop tracking gender, that it just becomes a discussion about having the right person, with the right skills in the right job at the right time. The fact that we’re women, well that is just a bonus!

Biz Gals: What advice would you offer your younger self?

Susan: Remain humble, but have more confidence in yourself.


Words: Natalie Kessell 

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