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March 31, 2011
OF THE MONTH
tion through the chain of
command is crucial to the
smooth running of the Navy.
Continuing with the "People"
category of New Generation
Navy's Signature Behaviour of the
Month, the focus turns to how to
"Communicate well and regu-
This Signature Behaviour encour-
ages us all to keep our teams informed
with clear, consistent, timely and
accurate communication. It requires
us to engage thoughtfully, ensure
understanding and give and receive
This particular behaviour has
well and truly been embraced by the
command team at HMAS Harman.
Commanding Officer CMDR Andrew
Schroder said communicating to a
ship's company provided its own
"Here in Canberra, we have about
2400 Navy people including Navy
Strategic Command, HMAS Harman,
and other groups within the ADF,"
CMDR Schroder said.
At Harman, the Divisional System
is the prime method of communica-
tion among all Navy personnel. It is
used for communicating up and down
the command chain.
"We have also developed a number
of group email addresses and through
these we can send information to
either 'all Canberra' or by rank, to
get specific messages out," CMDR
Simply by sending the email, how-
ever, does not mean the message has
"The thing I rely on is that those
people receiving the email actu-
ally take the step to open it," CMDR
"It's a two-way form of communi-
cation with three parts to the process --
my team sending the message, people
'Communicate well and regularly'
CHIT-CHAT: HMAS Harman's "Buffer" POB Stuart Tinker passes on some key messages to crew members.
Photo: POIS Ollie Garside
TEAMWORK: Clear, consistent, timely and accurate information is crucial up
and down the chain of command.
opening it and then reading and digest-
ing that information. Hopefully, they
can then pass it on."
POB Stuart Tinker, the "Buffer" at
HMAS Harman, believes communica-
tion is one of the best tools to ensure
that command intent is achieved, with
the Divisional System best placed to
"Part of my job is attending weekly
planning meetings and getting the
information from the command team,
and ensuring the sailors I look after
know what's going on," POB Tinker
"We conduct both watches every
morning and discuss what's planned
for that day and the immediate future.
We also discuss any pending changes
to the program.
"There is also the opportunity
to check if any of the junior sailors
require a response or support from
command. If so, I can go through the
Divisional System to the XO and know
that it will be actioned."
WO Navy Mark Tandy agrees that
communication is key to sharing infor-
mation, but also in making cultural
"The NGN focus has always been
on changing Navy's culture to better
support our people, and good commu-
nication goes a long way to developing
this support," he said.
"Senior sailors are especially
important in this process. They have
many years of professional and life
experience that can be channeled into
guiding and mentoring their junior
sailors and providing support to their
For more information about the
Signature Behaviours, visit http://
By LEUT Todd Austin
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