PRIVATE Julia Robinson is preparing to take the next big step in her flourishing rugby league career as she farewells Townsville’s 3rd Brigade to be closer to her training base in Brisbane.
The athletic winger had not played rugby league eight months ago, but she has enjoyed a meteoric rise as part of the Broncos’ victorious NRLW squad before making her Australian Jillaroos debut.
Robinson is a driver of medium and heavy rigid trucks in the Transport Corps in Townsville and first pulled on the footy boots with the Australian Defence Force team at this year’s national women’s championships.
The former netballer has thrived in her new sport and the Australian Army has helped facilitate a posting to Brisbane’s Enoggera Barracks so she can dedicate more time to training.
Robinson said she was sad to leave her unit — the 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion — but she felt it was the best way to pursue her elite sporting dreams with the Broncos.
“I’m very excited to go back home, but sad to leave my new family and all my new friends up here,” she said.
“Three Brigade has been very good in supporting me in everything. They’ve given me every opportunity to go down to ‘Brissie’ to pursue my footy career for the Broncos.
“I’ve got my club team (Wests Panthers) as well so that’s another reason why it’s good for me to be down there so I can play in that competition and get more game time and keep learning my skills in rugby league.”
Robinson has needed plenty of flexibility with work, but her commanding officer Major Jared Nicol said they were more than happy to help the 20-year-old on her journey to rugby league stardom.
“She’s worked extremely hard to be where she is and for Defence it’s important you recognise those abilities within people that you are responsible for,” he said.
“She’ll leave behind a solid group of friends, but she has fantastic leadership skills that will serve her well in Brisbane and playing for the Broncos.
“Certainly the fact that she’s going to Brisbane won’t stop us from cheering her on from Townsville.”
Robinson is one of a long list of athletes and coaches in the 3rd Brigade who are supported by the ADFs Elite Sports Participant provisions and she encouraged others to make the most of their opportunities.
“I guess I’m a good example that anything could happen,” she said.
“I never would’ve thought I would be playing for the Broncos or Jillaroos and that’s all happened because I was playing defence sport.”