Australia, Bus Industry News

New bus helps defence force launch Mobile ADF Careers Centre

The former school bus, courtesy of Volvo and Coach Concepts, is revolutionising recruiting for the ADF

The recent delivery of a new bus to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has helped it launch a new feature in its recruiting campaign through the Mobile ADF Careers Centre (MACC).

The ADF, alongside new capability partner Adecco Australia, is seeking to increase its personnel by 30 per cent to almost 80,000 in 2040, with the MACC being its solution to the recruiting challenge.

The MACC was unveiled in Canberra last month, with the MACC touring regional and remote communities on its inaugural tour to see ADF Careers specialists in the NSW towns of Coonamble, Walgett and Coonabarabran.

The ADF is touring in a new Volvo B8R Euro 5 chassis, with a Coach Concepts body fitted on top.

The purpose-built bus is designed to support the recruitment process, from application to assessment, and has bespoke features including iPads, private individual booths and theatre screens to help the ADF talk face-to-face with personnel about career opportunities onboard the MACC.

Indigenous Australian owned and managed fit out and construction company DLG Shape helped transform the vehicle from a normal school bus to a mobile workplace.

DLG general manager Michael Manikas was involved in the project and says it’s amazing to see what was built as a school coach evolve into a new mobile careers centre.

“Traditionally we carry out fitout and refurbishment works to buildings, so this was unique in that we had to source and secure the bus as well as carry out a fit out,” Manikas says.

Sydney design firm Nguluway DesignInc oversaw the conceptual interior design of the MACC, with project team member and interior designer Clarissa Lundy saying the team adopted designing from country principles in the process.

“The MACC was different in that it needed to functionally perform like a normal workplace but be able to adapt, pack-down and accommodate various settings in a confined space,” Lundy says.

“From the seat placement to the staff amenities, each fitting had to be carefully detailed to have maximum functionality, while the material selection had to be highly durable, fixed or flexible while being easy to maintain.”

Experienced Victorian heavy vehicle refinishing company Trubus was contracted by DLG Shape to bring the design to life, with refinisher John Nwesser helping with this customisation process.

“We had to ensure what the designers sent through to us could be built with maximum strength and safety,” he says.

“Buses twist and bend while in motion, so everything had to be secured but in a way that’s not noticeable.

“I’ve been in the bus industry since I started my apprenticeship 27 years ago and I’ve never seen an internal fit out like this!”

The bus has helped the ADF enter a new era in its recruiting requirements, with the defence force encouraging people to consider one of the roles on offer.

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