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May 12, 2011
really looking forward to the trip later
in the year.
"The sooner mum leaves the sooner
she gets back, so I am sort of pushing
her out the door," he said.
"I can't wait to visit all the cool
theme parks on the Gold Coast!"
The acting Head of Navy People
and Reputation Management, CDRE
Vicki McConachie, said Mother's Day
was a great opportunity for Navy to
thank families for their support.
"As a mum myself, I know how
tough it can be for loved ones when we
deploy," she said.
"And of course, we cannot forget
the many mums who we leave behind.
"When we refer to the 'Navy fam-
ily', we mean it. None of us can afford
to take them for granted."
Some sailors are mums too
By LEUT Katey Mouritz
MOTHER'S Day for CPONPC Jane
Butcher came and went in a flurry
of activity as she prepares for her
coming deployment to the Middle
East aboard HMAS Toowoomba.
As the Chief Coxswain on board
Toowoomba, CPONPC Butcher is
responsible for personnel-related
issues before the ship's deployment, so
she has had little time to worry about
the deployment and the six-month
separation from her 11-year-old son,
"To tell you the truth, I have not
had time to dwell on the separation,"
"I have been going to sea since my
son was young, so it has just become
normal for us. Kyle doesn't like me
going away but we just get on with it."
CPONPC Butcher is supported
on the homefront by her mother, who
moved into her house in preparation
for the deployment and to provide a
routine and enable Kyle to stay in his
CPONPC Butcher said she couldn't
have made the commitment to a sea-
going life without the support of her
"She is just awesome," she said.
"My mum becomes a stand-in
mum for Kyle while I am away. She
has to discipline him so she can't be
at all easy on him as a normal grand-
mother would be."
And when CPONPC Butcher is
ashore, she makes the most of the time
she has with her son by spending spe-
cial time together, doing things they
At sea there are still ways to keep
CPONPC Butcher said it was
important for her son to have private
conversations with her. For this reason,
he has his own email account to stay in
touch, and video calls are sometimes
"During previous deployments we
have found it is important that Kyle
can write private emails to me while I
am away. It gives him a chance to let
off steam to me and my mum does the
same. I get it from both sides!"
In the busy last weeks before the
operational deployment, Toowoomba's
crew made the most of one of their last
chances to spend time with their fami-
lies on Mother's Day, May 8.
CPONPC Butcher spent the day
with all three generations under one
roof and had a relaxing day with her
mother and son.
"We kept it pretty low-key because
we have planned a big trip to the Gold
Coast when I return from deploy-
ment," she said.
Kyle said it was hard every time
his mum went away, but that he was
HAPPY MEMORIES: CPONPC Jane Butcher gives her son, Kyle, a
tour of HMAS Toowoomba before her coming deployment to the MEAO.
Photo: ABIS Lincoln Commane
WHEN asked on Navy's
Facebook page what it was like
being a mother in the Navy, or
a mother of children in the ADF,
here's what a few people had to
Niafe Inoke-Jenkinson: I'm a
proud mother whose daughter
is in the Navy achieving her
Carol Shearman: Retired sailor
here, and mother of two serv-
ing (and grandmother to a future
admiral :>) ... I wouldn't say it
was easy, hated missing my kids'
milestones, but I am thrilled they
could see past those hard times
and realise that defending your
country is a worthwhile career.
Lisa Condo: My son enlisted on
May 31, 2010. Sadly, he passed
away on March 29 this year.
Although my heart is broken and
Mother's Day will be hard, I will
always be filled with pride that he
chose to serve our country. SMN
Daniel Martin ... gone but never
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