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September 30, 2010
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ABCIS Melanie Schinkel
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SERVING AUSTRALIA WITH PRIDE
SERVING AUSTRALIA WITH PRIDE
Navy The official newspaper of the Royal Australian Navy
By Hugh McKenzie
CDF ACM Angus Houston has said
he looks forward to working with new
Defence Minister Stephen Smith.
At a press round-table, ACM
Houston said Mr Smith was a capable
and experienced minister who knew all
about Afghanistan and had been there
when all the big decisions were made.
"He's a hell of a nice guy," ACM
Mr Smith completed his Bachelor
of Arts and Bachelor of Laws at the
University of Western Australia. He
practised as a barrister and solicitor
in Perth, then completed a Master of
Laws at London University, and sub-
sequently lectured and tutored in law
Mr Smith has been the Federal
Member for Perth since March 1993
and has served on numerous par-
liamentary committees. Before his
appointment as Foreign Minister he
held a range of shadow ministries.
At a press conference, he said he
was looking forward to a parliamen-
tary debate on Afghanistan.
"It is a difficult and dangerous mis-
sion and our objective is to enable the
Afghan Government, Afghan securi-
ty services and Afghan army to take
responsibility for security matters in
their country," he said.
"Our objective is to prevent
Afghanistan from again being a breed-
CDF full of praise for Smith
NEW TEAM AT THE TOP:
Incoming Defence Minister
Stephen Smith, left, and the outgo-
ing John Faulkner with well-wish-
ers at Russell.
Photos: Mark Brennan
THE mother of a junior sailor found
dead aboard HMAS Launceston in
Darwin on September 14 has thanked
the Navy for its support following
her son's tragic passing.
ABCK Jay Wilkie was found not
breathing in his cabin at 5am. Crew
mates applied first aid, but ABCK
Wilkie could not be revived.
The matter is being investigated by
the Northern Territory coroner.
ABCK Wilkie's mother said,
"Jay had two families -- ours and
his extended family in the Navy.
The Navy was entrusted with Jay's
life when he joined up and they
took him on as one of their own;
nothing but the best as we have
clearly seen over the years.
"His mates will be suffering
as we are suffering and our hearts
go out to them, together with our
appreciation and thanks that we
could celebrate Jay's life together.
"The Navy has gone extra steps
and has walked the long hard mile
for Jay by helping his mates from
Cairns to attend the funeral, accom-
modating them, counselling their
grief, giving Jay the highest hon-
our of the Australian White Ensign
as his funeral pall and a military
salute after the service.
"For us, Jay's family, the Navy
has offered their unwavering sup-
port from the time we were notified
of Jay's death. The support from
Navy, Padre CHAP Dan Hynes and
the ADF, has allowed us time to
grieve and remember Jay for the
wonderful person he was, and we
can't thank them enough.
"Our friends have been stand-
ing alongside our family, quietly
offering their prayers, love, sup-
port, understanding and compas-
sion -- we hope they understand
how deeply we appreciate that.
"We would like to also thank
the good people of the Bible
Chapel for everything they have
done, their unconditional love and
their offerings of good tidings; they
are also our family in Christ.
"And our new family, Des
Allen, who took care of Jay when
he came home on Saturday night;
Jay was always beautiful when we
"While we said goodbye to Jay
today, he has not gone and will
never leave us, as he will live on in
the wonderful memories we have
of 28 incredible years sharing the
life and love of a man we are proud
to call a son and a brother. He has
fulfilled his purpose."
The family has asked that their pri-
vacy continue to be respected at this
All donations, not flowers, should
be forwarded to Cancer research.
Acting Chief of Navy, RADM
Davyd Thomas, released a state-
ment on September 16 refuting media
claims that toxic gas had contributed
to ABCK Wilkie's death.
"There is no evidence that gas of
any nature contributed to the death of
ABCK Jay Wilkie," the statement said.
"Unsubstantiated speculation prior
to the Northern Territory coroner's
report into his tragic death is both
unfair and pre-empts the findings of
this independent review. It also causes
unfounded concern among the families
of our patrol boat community."
ABCK Wilkie's funeral was held
on September 24.
Tribute for dead sailor
ing ground or a hotbed of international
He said Australians would also
focus on the tragedy that our service
overseas in conflicts brings, but they
also recognised the terrible conse-
quences if international terrorism was
allowed to run free.
Warren Snowdon is returning as
Minister for Veterans' Affairs and
Defence Science and Personnel and
retaining responsibility for indigenous
Mr Snowdon was born in Canberra.
He graduated with a Bachelor of
Arts degree in 1973 and then complet-
ed a Diploma in Education in 1975,
moving to the Northern Territory to
work as a teacher in Darwin.
Between 1978 and 1981 he worked
as a researcher at the Australian
National University's Centre for
Resource and Environmental Studies.
He was elected to Parliament in
1987 and was appointed parliamentary
secretary for various portfolios.
He has been a member of several
parliamentary committees and various
The Minister for Defence Materiel,
Jason Clare, was elected to Federal
Parliament at the November 2007
election. In 2009, he was appoint-
ed Parliamentary Secretary for
Employment. Mr Clare holds Arts
and Law degrees from the University
of NSW. He was a senior adviser to
former NSW Premier Bob Carr and
an executive at Transurban, one of
Australia's Top 100 companies.
The Parliamentary Secretary for
Defence, David Feeney, was elected to
the Senate in 2007.
He has served on a number of com-
mittees including the Joint Statutory
Committee for Public Accounts and
SAD PASSING: HMAS Launceston's ABCK Jay Wilkie passed away on
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