Home' Navy News : September 2nd 2010 Contents A unique
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September 2, 2010
By Leonie Gall
IF LAUGHTER is the best medicine,
then major healing took place last month
in Brisbane when hundreds enjoyed an
evening of good humour to raise money
for a very worthy cause.
More than 800 Defence members
and corporate guests came together at
the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition
Centre on Saturday, August 7 to enjoy
some wining, dining and dancing at the
Defence Charity Ball, raising important
funds for Legacy.
Guests were treated to an entertain-
ing evening as emcee, funny-man Vince
Sorrenti, got up to all sorts of mischief,
while ex-Australian Idol winner Kate
DeAraugo gave a show-stopping perfor-
mance with the Army and Navy bands.
Vince Sorrenti said it was a pleasure
to be involved in the event.
"No one supports the freedoms and
liberties of this great country as much as
me, and as a comic the ability to speak
my mind and live my life openly is sacred
to me," Mr Sorrenti said.
"The ADF protects not only our bor-
ders, but these values -- in any part of the
world they can be threatened.
"Through Legacy we can acknowl-
edge and help the brave people who put
themselves in harm's way for the values
we hold so dear."
Recently widowed Brie Till, wife of
fallen digger SGT Brett Till, who died in
Afghanistan on March 19 last year, gave
a heart-warming address to ball guests
about the difficulties of coping with the
loss of a husband and father while dealing
with a new-born baby, and spoke of the
support she received from friends, family
During the evening, festivities were
briefly paused for an important cross to
Afghanistan, where the CO of the First
Mentoring Task Force, LTCOL Mark
Jennings, spoke of the importance of
Legacy. He assured soldiers that if an
incident occurred while they were con-
ducting operations in Afghanistan,
Legacy would support their families back
home if required.
Other activities on the night included
a successful auction, the top item fetching
about $5500, ADF static displays, includ-
ing an ARH Tiger helicopter, a Navy dive
tank and RAAF working dog puppies.
The ADF Charity Ball was run by
Commander of the First Division in
Brisbane, with Legacy as the very grate-
ful beneficiary of all funds raised.
Brisbane Legacy CEO, Steven
Blinkhorn, said Legacy was hoping to
receive in excess of $100,000 as a result
of the ball.
Legacy supports more than 115,000
widows and 1900 children and depend-
ants, who have lost a loved one serving
By MAJ Barbara Tipper
TWO foreign Navy and five foreign
Army personnel have taken their
first steps to becoming RAN and
Army officers, respectively.
The Pre-officer Training
Preparation (PT PREP) Course was
hosted at RAAF Williams, Laverton,
by the Defence International
Training Centre (DITC).
The course, which ran from June
7 to July 2, aims to serve as a primer
in aspects of the ADF before starting
MIDN/OCDT training proper.
To their credit, all seven trainees
participated fully on the PT PREP
course, successfully completing their
preparation for their officer training
They rapidly adjusted to the
Australian accent and ADF teaching
and learning methods, and prepared
themselves thoroughly for leadership
training and defence studies in the
The PT PREP course also
required trainees to research aspects
of leadership in Australian and
ADF history, deliver an oral brief
and make a start with applying our
Defence writing standards.
The OCDTs completed the PT
PREP course at the Royal Military
College in Canberra, where they
have since started the 18-month
officer training program, while the
MIDN finished up with a visit to
HMAS Cerberus for a taste of RAN
history and life.
MIDNs Bryan Pohai and Nathan
Tombe (from Papua New Guinea)
were hosted at Cerberus by LCDR
Lucito Irlandez, Officer in Charge
Training Services Faculty -- Supply
Foreign servicemen prepare
for ADF officer training
LCDR Irlandez showed the eager
MIDN around Cerberus and was
happy to share his own experiences
as an NEOC graduate of 10 years
and a former NEOC instructor.
LCDR Irlandez readily empa-
thised with Bryan and Nathan, hav-
ing once been a foreigner himself.
He arrived from the Philippines
as a skilled migrant (he was lec-
turing in engineering) and worked
with Navy as a civilian for 10 years
before trying on the uniform and
passing through NEOC. In hindsight
he wishes he'd made the decision
sooner, given the satisfying career
he has enjoyed for the last decade.
LCDR Irlandez told the MIDN,
shouldn't have any problems!"
The MIDN also met and chatted
with recent NEOC graduates dur-
ing their visit to Cerberus, glean-
ing useful course survival hints (like
carefully hidden safety pins hold-
ing hospital corners in place) and
receiving encouragement about their
The MIDN relocated to HMAS
Creswell on July 12 and have joined
New Entry Officer Course 43.
READY TO SERVE: (From left) HMAS Cerberus' POPT Joe Carroll,
MIDN Bryan Pohai (PNG) and MIDN Nathan Tombe (PNG).
HOST WITH THE MOST: (Main) Emcee Vince Sorrenti arrives in style, on top of a Bushmaster PMV.
INCOMING: (Inset top left) PTE Morgan Beam helps a guest shoot a grenade stress ball.
HATS ON, HATS OFF: (Inset top right) Commander 1st Division, MAJGEN Mick Slater, presents
Sorrenti with a slouch hat.
BLENDING IN: (Inset bottom left) Sorrenti shares a joke with a yowie suit-clad sniper.
Photos: Kim Allen
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