In 2013 Darleen was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for exceptional and dedicated service as a Commanding Officer of the UNSW Regiment and her international efforts in the field of peace operations training and gender awareness education.
After attending Tocal, Darleen completed her Bachelor of Education and was appointed to secondary high schools in both the Hunter and South Coast regions for over 20 years. She held appointments including Agriculture and Science teacher, Head Teacher Teacher and Learning, and Deputy Principal.
Darleen continued serving with the Reserve in the Australian Army, however in 2008, she transferred to Full Time and has had vast and diverse experiences both in conflict and post conflict environments and in peacekeeping training centres. This has included operational deployments in the Middle East and conducting gap analysis, training, assessment and evaluation in Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Tonga, PNG, NZ, Canada, Germany, Chile, Uruguay, Sweden, Norway, China, Nepal, and Mongolia. She has exceptional operational, logistic, education and training technical skills and has been leading multinational teams to strengthen capacity and building of relationships and partners. She has extensive experience in the field of Gender, Women, Peace and Security including Conflict Related Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and Child Protection with respect to the military response.
Command positions include Commanding Officer of the New South Wales University Regiment, Commanding Officer/Chief Instructor ADF Joint Training, and Commanding Officer of the ADF Peace Operations Training Centre.
Darleen has postgraduate studies in Education, Leadership and Gender and has authored UN Specific Training Material and articles in professional journals. She has been selected as a keynote speaker at international forums in a variety of military and university institutions. She is married with three adult children and four grandchildren.