Home' Navy News : September 13th 2012 Contents DEFENCE TRANSITIONS
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September 13, 2012
LEUT Grant McDuling
SURGEON and former commander
Malcolm Stening has always made oth-
ers sit up and take notice. That was cer-
tainly the case on August 17 when he
notched up his 100th birthday in style.
The Naval Historical Society ensured
the occasion was celebrated in true Naval
fashion, and Navy made sure not to dis-
appoint by joining the celebrations.
Director General Navy Health CDRE
Elizabeth Rushbrook said Mr Stening's
distinguished medical career was an
inspiration to anyone in the medical pro-
"Not only did Malcolm have an event-
ful and significant career in the Navy, he
also made his mark as a gynaecological
surgeon in the private sector," she said.
"For this he was awarded an Order of
Australia Medal in 2009."
Mr Stening and his three brothers all
became doctors after leaving school. Two
signed up with the Army and two with
He joined HMAS Australia at
Birkenhead in November 1940 and saw
action at the Battle of the Coral Sea and
during the Guadalcanal Campaign.
After two-and-a-half years of some of
the most intense fighting any Australian
warship has been involved in, Mr Stening
was loaned to the near-new British bat-
tleship HMS Howe as the senior medical
The ship soon became involved in
ferocious operations aimed at neutralis-
ing Japanese positions when US Marines
came ashore at Okinawa in April 1945.
"Together with the battleship HMS
King George V, HMS Howe pounded
the southern Japanese Ryuku islands,"
CDRE Rushbrook said.
He was promoted to command-
er in June 1949 and was awarded the
Volunteer Reserve Decoration in 1951.
Two years later he transferred to the
retired list and returned to his medical
WHEN you retire after having
worked in all three Services and the
APS for a total of 44 years, there
is not likely to be any unfinished
For LSNPC Matt Ellio
ever, there is one more o
where he will don the Navy
"I'm still waiting to be
ed with my Federation Sta
years' service," he said, afte
lowing the anchor' and marc
of HMAS Kuttabul on Augu
The 63-year-old said h
oughly enjoyed his tim
"Gone but not forgotten
"I was happy to serve in
itary because I thought I o
country something and this
was a great way to expre
"My military career with
three services has been ric
rewarding and exciting as
provided me with the oppo
tunity to learn a trade and
travel the world."
LSNPC Elliott start-
ed his military service as
a National Serviceman
in 1968, and deployed to
Vietnam as an Army driv
Celebrating in style
Service with a smile
At his birthday party, Navy was rep-
resented by CDRE Rushbrook, CAPT
Brendan Byrne and CMDR Neil
Sickbaymen's Association President
Ron Rosenberg and ex-nursing sister
Tina Heath joined Walter Burroughs,
Richard Gardner and Ian Phenningwerth,
of the Naval Historical Society, to enjoy
But not everything went according to
plan. CDRE Rushbrook had just stepped
off a plane from America and, as luck
would have it, her luggage went astray.
Undeterred and determined to turn up
at the party in uniform, she drove straight
to the clothing store at HMAS Kuttabul
to arrange a replacement uniform, com-
plete with rank braid and medal ribbons.
The clothing store produced the uniform
in record time for the celebration at 1pm.
This little episode made a huge
impression on the veterans at the party.
According to Walter Burroughs,
"the extra mile provided by the Director
General Naval Health sets a fine example
of the can-do spirit in the best traditions
of the Service".
-- CDRE Elizabeth Rushbrook
Not only did Malcolm
have an eventful and
significant career in
the Navy, he also
made his mark as a
surgeon in the private
DEEP BREATH: Former commander Malcolm Stening blows out the candles on his birthday cake,
celebrating his 100th at Narrabeen in Sydney with friends and family.
Photo: ABIS Sarah Williams
the plaque he
with by CO
Todd Willson for
his long service to
ABBM Julianne Cropley
ar for 40
with 86 Transport Platoon in 1969.
LSNPC Elliott rose to the rank of
corporal, but by 1979, he wanted a
new challenge so he transferred to
Air Force as a military policeman.
"I liked being in uniform and
I liked what Defence did for the
country, which is why I stayed with
this organisation for so long," he
A new opportunity presented
itself in 2002
officer, while he
also clocked time
as a reservist.
he got back
form full-time after joining Navy as a
naval police coxswain.
"The Navy was advertising for
NPCs and I thought I'd give it a go
because I had the experience and
qualifications required," he said.
Over the past four years, LSNPC
Elliott shared his time between the
ADF Investigative Service and Fleet
HQ as the assistant USO, which
were challenging but rewarding
He said he hoped his legacy was
the mentoring he has performed to
help young ADF personnel come to
grips with their roles and responsi-
"Young people should appreci-
ate the opportunities and
rewards that a career in
the ADF provides," he
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