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September 30, 2010
Ocsober in October
By Michael Brooke
MANY officers and sailors posted
throughout the country and war-
ships on operations around the
globe have pledged to 'give up the
drink' during 'Ocsober'.
The Navy and Life Education
Australia launched Ocsober during
a gala event aboard HMAS Ballarat
(CMDR Guy Blackburn) at Fleet Base
East on September 21.
Ocsober encourages Australians of
all ages -- including sailors -- to give up
alcohol for the month of October to
help raise awareness of drug and alco-
hol issues among our children.
Chief of Navy, VADM Russ Crane,
and his senior leadership team are
supporting Navy's involvement in
Ocsober and have called on all Navy
members to get behind the initiative.
Director General Navy People,
CDRE David Letts, said the RAN
was proud to be involved in Life
"Navy is proud
to launch its
Navy personnel to
experience a healthy
alcohol for the
month of October."
-- CDRE David Letts
program and he had
already signed up to
'go sober' in October.
"Navy is proud to
launch its Ocsober
ing Navy personnel to
experience a healthy
lifestyle without alco-
hol for the month of
October," he said.
PO Melita English,
Assistant, is 'on the
wagon' and said all Australians,
including the wider Navy community,
would benefit from a greater aware-
ness of the negative effects of alcohol
She said her biggest hurdle
would be refraining from alcohol
in her usual social settings, such as
Thursday and Friday pay nights,
when she would normally enjoy a red
wine or two with her work colleagues.
"It will require a bit of will power
because in Australia all our social
settings such as BBQs and birthdays
revolve around the consumption of
alcohol," she said.
PO English said she would drink
a lot of mineral water instead of alco-
LSET Syed Hamdan, from the
Combat Systems Maintenance
School, said he would drink soda-
water during Ocsober to create the
perception he was drinking something
"The hardest thing will be not cav-
ing into peer-group pressure when all
my mates are drinking booze," he said.
The Ocsober awareness and fun-
draising activity was launched by
the NSW Governor, Professor Marie
Bashir, COMAUSFLT RADM Steve
Gilmore, Director General Navy
People, CDRE David Letts, Ballarat's
CO, CMDR Guy Blackburn, and the
Chairman of Life Education, Tony
CDRE Letts said the Ocsober
campaign supported New Generation
"NGN's emphasis on behaviour
encourages officers and sailors to con-
sider the broader impact of alcohol
misuse on their health and wellbeing,
their family and friends and the com-
munity in which they serve," he said.
CDRE Letts said
the NGN program
recognised that Navy
personnel -- as the
guardians of national
security -- were judged
by a higher standard.
"Navy has its share
of behavioural aber-
rations -- what organi-
sation with more than
13,000 people in it can
claim to be perfect?
But when these occur
there is no tolerance for it in our
Navy," he said.
The RAN will get the word out
about the benefits of Ocsober by
filming a Healthy Living video,
providing exercise tips from Navy's
physical trainers, healthy living ideas
from medical staff and even spiritual
advice from Navy Chaplains.
Navy will not be setting a fund-
raising target for Ocsober, but rather
will aim for maximum Navy partici-
pation. You can support Ocsober by
joining the Navy Ocsober Team or
sponsoring a friend at www.every-
navy (password is 'teamnavy').
To find out more about Navy's involvement
in Ocsober at the Navy Challenge website
HEALTHY LIVING: POWTR Melita English, LSET Syed Hamdan, Healthy Harold and CDRE David Letts
show their support for Ocsober during the launch on board HMAS Ballarat.
Photo: ABIS Sarah Williams
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