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October 29, 2009
STAFFERS from the Australian
Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
are major contributors to RAN capa-
AMSA has about a dozen ADF
reservists in Canberra -- 11 of them
RANR -- operating as civilian spe-
cialists in organisations such as the
Canberra-based National Rescue
The Director-General Reserves-
Navy, CDRE Ranford Elsey, recently
took time out from a busy round of
Australia-wide briefings of members
of the Navy Reserve to call on AMSA
executives to thank them for their con-
tinuing support of reservists.
He was joined by the Chairperson
of the Defence Reserves Support
Council-ACT, Bill Thompson. (The
DRSC provides a link between the
ADF, employers and the community
from which the reserve force is drawn.)
On September 29, CDRE Elsey
visited AMSA CEO Graham Peachey
and Manager of Emergency Response
Division John Young at the Authority's
Mr Peachey said he was glad
AMSA had the experience of so many
"second career" people in AMSA --
virtually all reservists with the organi-
sation had come to AMSA after retire-
ment from the Permanent Navy.
Many, such as the organiser of the
visit, LCDR Artie Heather, performed
vital roles within AMSA. In his civilian
capacity, Mr Heather, for example, was
a Senior Search and Rescue Officer in
the Rescue Coordination Centre.
LCDR Heather explained to CDRE
Elsey and other invited RAN mem-
bers, including Warrant Officer of the
Navy Mark Tandy, the roles of AMSA,
including dealing with search and res-
cue, maritime casualty and pollution
response in Australia's area of respon-
sibility. This equates to about one-tenth
of the earth's surface.
He outlined the extensive national
network of resources available to the
Rescue Coordination Centre to deal
with search and rescue and other emer-
gencies, including five Dornier fixed-
wing aircraft based in Perth, Darwin,
Cairns, Brisbane and Essendon.
Recent duties included searching
for the Twin Otter aircraft that crashed
in the Papua New Guinea highlands,
monitoring the progress of vessels sus-
pected of illegal entry to Australian
waters and marine pollution accidents
such as the oil leak from the Montara
well in the Indian Ocean. AMSA han-
dles some 10,000 incidents a year and
saves the lives of an average of about
450 people annually.
CDRE Elsey said the long tradi-
tion of Navy Reserve service had been
greatly strengthened by the passage of
the Defence Reserves Protection Act in
2001. This, he said, prevented discrim-
ination against people who chose to
serve in the reserve, protection of the
jobs of reservists, as well as providing
for payment of employers to cover the
cost of temporary workers in lieu of
reservists on duty with the ADF.
He reiterated that reserve service
had a two-way benefit with reservists
bringing to the Navy the skills they
had acquired in their civilian roles
and returning to the civilian jobs with
skills, such as leadership, initiative and
industry, they acquire through training
and work in the reserve.
CDRE Elsey thanked AMSA, Mr
Peachey and Mr Young for their help
in releasing Navy Reserve personnel
and presented Mr Peachey with a Navy
Reserve plaque, a pen set and sword
"There's no telling the difference
between the Permanent Navy and Navy
Reserve personnel," he said. "They do
the same job.
"About 10.5 per cent of the Navy's
trained force is reservists. Without
their contribution, we'd be in a far
more serious state in the Navy than
we're now in."
Canberra-based Navy Reservists in
AMSA have a total of 65 years experi-
ence with the authority.
They include CMDR Rick Allen,
LCDRs Angela Barr, Cindy Francis,
Phil Gaden, Arthur Heather, Peter
Kelly, Christopher Jones, Trevor
Larkin, Nick Lemon, LEUTs Cindy
Francis, Phillip Gaden and Amanda
Mackinnell, and WO Debbie Galway.
LCDR Heather said his motivation
for reserve service, and that of some
others currently in civilian employ-
ment with AMSA, was to maintain
contact with the Navy because of pre-
vious service in the RAN.
Maritime Safety continues support
CONTINUING SUPPORT: CMDR Rick Allen and LCDRs Chris Jones and
Arthur Heather and WO Debbie Galway watch as Mr (LCDR) Peter Kelly
manages an emergecy in AMSA's Rescue Coordination Centre involving
a ship in danger of sinking in the Indian Ocean.
Photos: LSIS Paul McCallum
MEMORIAL GIFT: DGRES-N CDRE Ranford Elsey presents a plaque
to Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
A feather in their tallybands
MAJOR events coordinator and
military support officer in the ACT,
LCDR Mike Hardwick, has reached
the conclusion that today's sailors
are as good as sailors ever were.
And, after 45 years in rig, he
Mike passed the incredible 45
year milestone in his naval career on
CN VADM Russ Crane, AM,
CSM, RAN, recognised his achieve-
ment by presenting him with his sec-
ond Federation Star and sixth clasp
to his Defence Long Service Medal
in Canberra on October 1.
VADM Crane described Mike's
achievement as "truly remarkable"
and said it showed incredible com-
mitment and dedication to Navy and
to the Australian people.
Joining as a junior recruit in 1964,
LCDR Hardwick spent many years at
sea, serving in nine different ships,
including in support of operations in
Vietnam, Malaysia and, most recent-
ly, in the Middle East area of opera-
He reached the rank of warrant
officer before commissioning in
1987, qualifying as a weapons elec-
trical engineering officer during his
most recent sea service.
He transferred to the Navy
Reserve in 2002 and has continued
to serve every year since, including as
a military support officer and major
events coordinator in the Canberra area
and as occasional acting XO at HMAS
"Of all things about Navy," Mike
said, "the people are the best.
"The young people of today are up
to the same tricks we used to try, but
they are as good sailors as we have
As to his prospects for the future,
Mike has more plans yet with Navy,
promising to keep on for a few more
years. He was recently posted to full-
time reserve service.
Forty-five years 'truly remarkable'
SPECIAL TIME: CN presents LCDR Mike Hardwick with his second
Photo: LSIS Phillip Cullinan
THE saying is usually "a feather in their cap" but, in Brisbane, nine
Reserve musicians of the Queensland detachment of the RAN Band
(CPO Andrew Stapleton) have "feathers in their tallybands". Last
month the nine were invited to join the acclaimed Brisbane Symphony
Orchestra for a recital called Symphony at the Shore. Held in the
Northshore Riverside Park on Saturday, September 26, the recital
was one of the highlights of the Brisbane Festival. Conductor of the
orchestra Antoni Bonetti has for a number of years requested support
from the Queensland Detachment. The concert began soon after sun-
set and attracted a crowd of more than 1000. Navy musicians partici-
pating included CPOMUSN Karina Bryer, who is also a regular mem-
ber of the orchestra, and ABMUSNs Robert Schultz, Darren Skaar
and Cassandra Trent, pictured above. Bandmaster CPO Andrew
Stapleton said he was very proud of his musicians. "They performed
well and brought a very positive image to the RAN," he said.
-- Graham Davis
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