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October 27, 2011
THE Navy's youngest and
only current female patrol
boat Commanding Officer has
won the 2011 Telstra Northern
Territory Young Business
Assail Four's LEUT Kylie
Beumer was among seven NT
finalists for both the Community
and Government Award and Young
Business Women's Award.
Currently undertaking another
stint on Operation Resolute, the
whole-of-government effort to
protect Australia's maritime inter-
ests, LEUT Beumer said she was
humbled by the nomination, which
she believed was a reflection of
the strong efforts and achieve-
ments of her crew during her com-
"My two years as
Commanding Officer of Assail
Four have been an incredibly
rewarding experience and to win
this award is an absolute honour,"
LEUT Beumer said.
In her first year as
Commanding Officer, HMAS
Broome intercepted and appre-
hended 10 suspected illegal entry
vessels, intercepted more than 500
potential irregular immigrants and
detained a foreign vessel illegally
fishing in Australian waters.
In 2010 LEUT Beumer also
coordinated the challenging rescue
of all 86 passengers from a sink-
ing vessel 90 nautical miles from
Joining the RAN in 1997, her
achievements include awards
for outstanding performance in
HMAS Melbourne during prepara-
tions for an Arabian Gulf deploy-
ment and for her contribution in
HMAS Kanimbla during the Iraq
Wa r.On her 31st birthday in 2009,
LEUT Beumer assumed command
of the Darwin-based Armidale-
class patrol boat, Broome.
The winners of the 2011
Telstra NT Business Women's
Awards were announced at a gala
luncheon in Darwin on October
14. LEUT Beumer joins CDRE
Robin Walker, Navy's Surgeon-
General, who won the ACT
Business Woman of the Year.
CDRE Walker said she
believed leaders should not ask
staff to do something they would
not do themselves.
"There needs to be a team
approach in dealing with crises
and as a leader you need to guide,"
The national finals of the
Telstra Business Women's Awards
will be announced in Melbourne
on November 18.
Women make their mark
AWARD WINNER: The
Commanding Officer of Assail
Four, LEUT Kylie Beumer,
takes control of HMAS Broome
from the port bridgewing
control console while coming
alongside the attack wharf at
HMAS Coonawarra and, inset,
ACT finalist CMDR Jenni
Heymans and LEUT Beumer at
the Darwin awards ceremony.
Main photo: ABIS James Whittle
By LCDR Andrew Stackpool
LCDR Raymond 'Taffy' James is liv-
ing proof that you can't keep an old
Earlier this year, Welsh-born LCDR
James notched 50 years of service in the
Royal Navy (RN) and RAN.
He came from a sea-faring family, so
it was not surprising that he enlisted -- on
August 8, 1961 -- and became a CPO
His RN career had some high and
low points. He was part of the armed
escort at the funeral of Sir Winston
Churchill on January 20, 1965, and
once shared a few beers with Lord Louis
Mountbatten, a childhood hero.
There were some matters that weren't
"Recovering bodies off St Kitts was
one of them," he said.
His ship sailed to the island on
August 1, 1970, after the ferry Christena
went down with the loss of 233 lives.
Only 90 people survived.
"By the time we arrived it was too
late to rescue anyone," he said.
"We formed teams to recover the
bodies from the sea. The situation was
made more difficult as we had met some
of the people on previous visits. The
population of St Kitts is relatively small,
which also added to the impact of the
Once, he was being transferred to
assist a trawler with an electrical prob-
lem in the North Atlantic when he
was swamped by a wave and suffered
hyperthermia that almost killed him.
Nevertheless, he fixed the problem.
In April 1972, LCDR James posted
to HMAS Cerberus as a weapons elec-
tronics instructor. He decided to move to
Australia, so he discharged from the RN
and enlisted in the RAN, as a CPOETS3,
"I missed my old mates but my fam-
Taffy celebrates half
century of service
ily lived in Mornington so it was good to
be near them again," he said.
In 1982 he was promoted to SBLT
and awarded the Peter Mitchell Prize for
He served in six ships in the RAN
and said a high point was as the engi-
neering officer aboard HMAS Moresby.
"I have always found the ship envi-
ronment enjoyable to work in. It's easy
to build up team spirit and a sense of
belonging," he said.
In March 2000, LCDR James trans-
ferred to the RAN Reserve and is
employed on full-time service.
So does he have any thoughts on
swallowing the pick?
"I will start active reserves, which
will keep me occupied until the middle
of next year. I have also been offered
some part-time consultancies, but haven't
made a decision yet.
"I also like doing voluntary work
with veterans, so I may do that again."
50 DOWN, MANY MORE TO GO!
LCDR Raymond 'Taffy' James cel-
ebrates 50 years of Navy service.
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