Stephen Johns was a young man destined to lead a team. He has achieved that vocation in life, both in his professional career in the Queensland Ambulance Service as a Senior Operations Supervisor for the Darling Downs Local Ambulance Service Network, and also with the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) where, as Squadron Leader(AAFC) Johns, he has just been appointed as the Executive Officer for 2 Wing Australian Air Force Cadets Southern Queensland.
In this extremely important and demanding role, Stephen is second in command of over 150 Staff and 1,200 cadets in an area from the Tweed border to Rockhampton and west to Roma.
As 2 Wing Executive Officer, he has to lead, manage, and develop the Wing’s 30 Squadron Commanding Officers, manage the Wing budget and facilities, and monitor the performance and development of the staff.
Stephen started his journey and love affair with the Australian Air Force Cadets way back in 1978, joining as a cadet at 215 SQN Cavendish Road High School in Brisbane. During his time as a cadet he learnt how to fly powered aircraft, flying solo before he was licensed to drive a motor vehicle.
Squadron Leader(AAFC) Johns said: “The skills and experiences such as leadership, self reliance, confidence and teamwork gained during my time as a cadet were invaluable. My experiences were so valuable I decided that I wanted to give back to the organisation so I then joined as an Instructor of Cadets in 1984.”
In 2002 he was appointed the Training Officer at 205 SQN Gatton and in January 2005 he was appointed the Commanding Officer 210 SQN Toowoomba. In June 2008 he also took on the role of Commanding Officer 209 SQN Oakey and managed both Squadrons until appointed and promoted to the role of Regional Executive Officer (West) on the 1st January 2010.
SQNLDR(AAFC) Johns believes the skills he learnt as a cadet, and as an Instructor of Cadets has helped and guided him throughout his current career as a Paramedic with the Queensland Ambulance Service- a job he has loved since joining in 1984.
He has worked in various locations around the state, including Beenleigh, Yarraman, Boonah, Proston, Charleville, Goondiwindi, Gatton, Fairview (West Toowoomba) and Toowoomba.
Over the past 30 years, Stephen has devoted his life to saving others, and as an Instructor of Cadets, and as a role model, he has no doubt emotionally saved many young lives by his good guidance, and the values and life skills he has instilled into those cadets who have come under his care and command.
Another famous Toowoomba-ite, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, AO, Chief of Air Force, also started his “flying career” with 210 Squadron and he too, learnt how to fly a glider at Warwick with 211 Flight.