Northam-educated, Donna joined the Army Reserves in 1977. She became the first female to join 10th Light Horse in Northam, opening the gate for other women to follow. She served for 10 years before leaving as a full Corporal.
Living in Northam she took the opportunity to help 5 Training Group with two weekly camps when needing Staff at the Northam Army Camp.
She served as an Officer with the Australian Army Cadets for two years and chaperoned a group of three young cadets to India. While there, she met then Prime Minister Mrs Indira Ghandi as well as the President of India.