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Woman to assist Australia's top man

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:22 01 August 2010

SHE has done admin for the Royal Navy and clerical work for a Somerset vicar.

But a woman from Loddon has landed a job with the most high profile figure in Australian politics after becoming a liaison officer for the prime minister.

SHE has done admin for the Royal Navy and clerical work for a Somerset vicar.

But a woman from Loddon has landed a job with the most high profile figure in Australian politics after becoming a liaison officer for the prime minister.

Secretary Janice Walker, emigrated Down Under almost 10 years ago after moving to Australia with her Royal Navy husband and two children.

Her father, Reginald Halls, has now spoken of his pride after his 52-year-old daughter secured the prestigious position at the office of Australian PM Kevin Rudd.

The 88-year-old, has wanted to shout the good news from the rooftops for months after his daughter received the promotion at the Australian government offices in Canberra.

But the proud father patiently waited for the response to three recorded letters to the Australian High Commission in London before getting the blessing to tell all his friends, neighbours, and the Journal.

The father-of-six, who last visited Ms Walker two years ago, said he was “very pleased” to see his daughter at the top of her chosen profession.

“I was very surprised. She phoned to say 'I got the job dad and I'm going to be working with the prime minster'. She is a very organised person and I think the navy brought that out of her. She does not speak much about her job, but is working hard so she can come back for Christmas,” he said.

Ms Walker joined the Women's Royal Naval Service when she was 18 where she first began her secretarial work. She stayed as a Wren for 14 years where she met her future husband, Carl Walker, who was a commander in the Royal Navy.

The couple married in 1980 and the family moved to Australia in 2002 when Mr Walker joined the Royal Australian Air Force.

Ms Walker, who has since divorced from her husband, had done a number of other secretarial jobs until securing the post with the Australian PM.

Her eldest sister, Angela Fisher, of Hales, said: “We are so proud of her. It is a great notch on her CV. She takes papers to and from the prime minister's office and has been to different places in the private jet.”

“She is really enjoying it. It has been a hard time with the divorce and staying in Australia, but we are very proud that she is doing well,” she said.

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