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April 15, 2010
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Leadership training for
future senior sailors
By LEUT Todd Austin
NEW modules being conducted as
part of the Petty Officers' Promotion
Course (POPC) are giving leading
seamen the tools they need to lead
culture change once they are pro-
LCDR Wayne Gobert, facilitator of
the leadership module of the POPC
recently held at HMAS Stirling, said
the step from leading seaman to petty
officer was a crucial one for a sailor.
"They move to being a senior sailor
and, as a part of our change process,
we need to ensure they're equipped
to lead teams and work with people,"
LCDR Gobert said.
LSPT Chris Vale said his position as
a physical trainer at HMAS Creswell
allowed him to lead in a practical way,
but the leadership modules in the
POPC allowed him to access the theory
"To progress as a PO, it helps to
have some knowledge of the theory
behind leadership and why people take
the actions they do -- this is something
I'm interested in," LSPT Vale said.
"This course has given me some
insight into that, as well as some
good tools I can use along with what I
already do in the workplace."
LSWTR Kylie Bakes, from Defence
Force Recruiting in Perth, agreed the
course would assist her in the transi-
tion to senior sailor.
"I am already using the Signature
Behaviours in my daily work and there
are definitely techniques I'll be talk-
ing away from this course, particularly
about influencing subordinates to
make changes for the better," LSWTR
LCDR Gobert said the participants
in the POPC were generally supportive
of what they were taught, but that cul-
ture change in the Navy would always
"There is a mix of people who are
comfortable with change and those
who have a healthy cynicism -- but this
adds to the richness of the discussion,"
LCDR Gobert said.
CULTURE CHANGE: (Above) LCDR Wayne Gobert addresses
leading seamen attending the Petty Officer's Promotion Course
held recently in the Training Centre -- West at HMAS Stirling.
(Below) POPC Instructor, CMDR Sue Bigham, addresses the
Photos: ABIS Lincoln Commane
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