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July 21, 2011
Navy helps some 'littles'
By LEUT Katey Mouritz
LSET Janarthan Sri Kantha knows
better than most about how men-
toring programs can support young
people and have a positive impact on
Having benefited from unofficial
mentoring during his teenage years,
LSET Sri Kantha is now getting a
great deal of satisfaction from acting
as a mentor to a young person.
"My mentor had such a big influ-
ence on the direction and success of
my teen years that I knew I wanted to
give something back," he said.
"I get a great deal of satisfaction
out of the positive influence I am hav-
ing on my 'little'."
LSET Sri Kantha was among the
'bigs' who hosted their 'littles' as
part of a ship and submarine tour to
HMAS Stirling by YMCA Perth's Big
Brothers Big Sisters mentoring pro-
gram on June 26.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a men-
toring program for youth who need
additional support away from their
The mentoring program revolves
around weekly meetings between the
'little' (the mentoree) and the 'big' (the
mentor) with an initial period of 12
months to allow the mentoring rela-
tionship to develop.
The 'little' and 'big' are able to
decide on the type of activities they
wish to do together and are encour-
aged by the program to undertake fun
and simple activities that they both
The Big Brothers Big Sisters men-
toring program is designed to encour-
age 'littles' to reach their potential,
develop positive self esteem, confi-
dence and life skills with adult volun-
The young people visited
Fleet Base West, toured HMAS
Warramunga and finished with a pic-
The warship tour was a highlight
and something that would be talked
about for a long time.
The fire-fighting demonstration
proved particularly popular, with many
'littles' getting behind a fire-fighting
LSET Sri Kantha, of FSU Perth at
HMAS Stirling said it was rewarding
for both the 'littles' and 'bigs' involved
"Being involved in this program is
a two-way street," he said.
"I am able to hang out with my
'little' and pass on some of my life
experience, but he also has to commit
to our regular meetings to get the most
out of it."
For more information on the Big Brothers Big
Sisters mentoring program, visit www.big
A BIG SQUIRT: ABET Daniel Gasper shows Callum how to use the fire hose aboard HMAS Warramunga
during a tour of the ship by the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program.
Photo: ABIS Morgana Ramsey
Change at the top
A BATON change has occurred
at Navy Headquarters-South
Queensland, with a new
Executive Officer appointed.
Having completed his two-year
posting, LCDR Terry Bird has
moved to a project at HMAS
Creswell. He has been replaced
by LEUT Stephen Van Prooyen,
who until recently was the
Port Services Officer at HMAS
Waterhen. The Commanding
Officer NHQ-SQ, CMDR Lachlan
King, joined with colleagues in
farewelling LCDR Bird and wel-
coming LEUT Van Prooyen at
a function at Bulimba Barracks.
LCDR Bird takes with him exten-
sive experience, having served on
17 ships. LEUT Van Prooyen has
38 years' of service in the RAN.
DMO chief retires
DMO chief executive officer
Stephen Gumley retired on July 7
after more than seven-and-a-half
years as the organisation's head.
Dr Gumley was recognised in
2010 when he was appointed an
Officer of the Order of Australia in
the Australia Day honours. A joint
statement by Defence Minister
Stephen Smith and Defence
Materiel Minister Jason Clare said
Dr Gumley "had done a difficult
job very well". He was appointed
in 2004 and in 2005 oversaw the
transition of the organisation to an
Australian Government prescribed
agency. Deputy CEO of DMO,
Warren King, will act as CEO until
the position is filled permanently.
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