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August 5, 2010
By ABCIS Melanie Schinkel
DURING their week-long famil-
iarisation tour of HMA Ships and
Defence establishments, 22 Gap Year
sailors visited Russell Offices recent-
ly for an informal chat with serving
RAN personnel in Canberra.
An excited group of Gap Year sail-
ors from general intakes 254, 273 and
278 mingled with serving officers and
sailors of various ranks and rates on
July 15 to learn about the real Navy
and gain insight into possible career
SMNGX Nicolas Colville said the
group visited HMAS Creswell (CAPT
Jaimie Hatcher) and HMAS Albatross
(CAPT Stefan King) during the road
trip, and he was excited about getting
his first sea posting in the next few
"We spoke to a lot of officers at
Creswell who gave us a run down on
their jobs," SMNGX Colville said.
"Today is a different experience for
us -- there is certainly a lot of 'brass
and bling' in Canberra.
"At this stage, I'm looking at
becoming a seaman officer, but I will
do more research once I get my sea
posting -- I'm really hoping to get
posted to an FFH or FFG."
SMNGX Lachlan Farquhar said
he wasn't sure which career path to
choose but hoped going to sea would
help make up his mind.
"My folks are encouraging me to
become an officer, but being a bosun
sounds pretty cool too," SMNGX
"So far, doing the Gap Year has
been a good experience.
"We stayed on board HMAS
Arunta for a night and the officers
and sailors were awesome -- they were
willing to help and answered all the
questions we had.
"I learnt basic seamanship skills,
which was something I really wanted
to learn, and now I'm just waiting for a
LCDR Theresa Cunningham, from
the NGN Culture Projects team, said
the meet and greet was a good oppor-
tunity for the Gap Year sailors to ask
questions, share experiences and dis-
cuss career options with RAN person-
"I'm really surprised by just how
many of these sailors are planning to
finish their Gap Year and stay in the
Navy," LCDR Cunningham said.
"They all seem to be buzzing about
their options as future sailors, officers
or students at ADFA.
"One sailor told me he was going
to become an electronic technician
submariner -- after just four months of
recruit training he already knows what
he wants to do."
She said by sharing examples from
her 24-year career as an officer and
former sailor, she helped the Gap Year
sailors understand the opportunities
available to them in the Navy.
"Some of them were really sur-
prised that I was a change-over from
Tour bridges gap for GX sailors
sailor to officer because they didn't
realise you could be a sailor and then
apply to become an officer," she said.
"You never know, one of these sail-
ors could be CN one day!"
For more information on the ADF Gap Year
Program visit http://www.defencejobs.
SMNs Nicolas Colville
and Lachlan Farquhar are
interested in becoming
seaman officers while,
right, Gap Year general
entry intakes 254, 273
and 278 pose for the
Photos: ABCIS Melanie Schinkel
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