Home' Navy News : November 8th 2012 Contents 10
November 8, 2012
LEUT Todd Austin
COMBINING academic studies and
military training is a daily challenge
for the midshipmen and officer cadets
at ADFA but many of them still find
time to help those less fortunate.
Many midshipmen and officer
cadets are involved in extracurricular
activities through Community Service
Voluntary Extra Curricular Activity
(VECA) by helping numerous chari-
ties.ADFA Commandant CDRE Bruce
Kafer said he was impressed with the
energy, enthusiasm and willingness to
engage with the local Canberra com-
munity and nationally.
"Numerous local community
organisations and charities remark
favourably about their engagement
with the officer trainees at ADFA,"
CDRE Kafer said.
MIDN Matthew Bell is a VECA
liaison officer and said everyone he
spoke to was positive and thankful for
"They are really grateful that we
are willing to volunteer our time," he
said.MIDN Clare Hodge has personal
reasons to help with fundraising for
local charities as her mother is being
supported by Canteen after being
diagnosed with leukaemia.
"Canteen has been a really good
support for me, including meeting
other people in similar situations,"
MIDN Hodge said.
"Among other things, I joined the
Navy to serve and failing to serve the
people around me doesn't seem right."
Further information on community engage-
ment and Navy signature behaviours in
action can be viewed online via the Navy
Intranet site at http://intranet.defence.
Willing to serve
GIVING BACK: MIDN Clare Hodge and MIDN Matthew Bell collect
funds for Legacy as part of ADFA's Community Service Voluntary Extra
Curricular Activity program.
CAPT Sean Childs
MEMBERS of Australia's Federation
Guard and 21 veterans travelled to
Egypt from October 16-22 to com-
memorate the 70th anniversary of
the Allied victory in the battle of El
Alamein during WWII.
The anniversary's commemora-
tion included a memorial service at
Australia's 9th Division Memorial
along with New Zealand and interna-
tional services at the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission Cemetery.
RAN veteran Derek Holyoake
sailed for the Mediterranean in June
1941 on the light cruiser HMAS
Hobart to replace HMAS Perth.
Hobart took part in operations
to relieve troops at the now famous
siege of Tobruk between August and
"On the night of October 20-21 we
bombarded the area east of Tobruk,
believed to contain 'Bardia Bill', a
long-range gun which was harassing
the harbour of Tobruk," Mr Holyoake
AB Adam Terry chaperoned Derek
during their visit to Egypt.
"Together we toured the battlefields
and shared stories only those in the
Navy would understand," AB Terry
"It was an honour for me to learn
the way it was for Derek and his mates
during WWII. The mateship and the
tolerance of living and working on
ship is the same today as it was back
The battle holds a significant place
in Australian and Allied WWII his-
tory. The Allied defeat of Germany's
General Rommel and his Afrika Korps
led to their total withdrawal from
North Africa, denying control of the
strategic Suez Canal and Middle
Eastern oil fields, which were crucial
to German war efforts.
From as early as 1941, Australian
warships played a small role in help-
ing Britain to assert its authority over
Iraq and Iran. Before Japan's attack
on Pearl Harbor, Australia regular-
ly had a cruiser, five old destroyers
and, at times, one or two smaller
ships attached to the Royal Navy's
The light cruisers HMA Ships
Hobart, Perth and Sydney all served
within the Mediterranean. Sydney
was later lost with all hands follow-
ing a battle with the German raider
HSK Kormoran in the Indian Ocean
off the Western Australian coast on
November 19, 1941.
RESPECT: (L-R) AB Justin Prasad,
Derek Holyoake, AB Adam Terry, AB
Aaron Abraham and CPO James
Drew visit the Commonwealth War
Graves Commission Cemetery in El
Alamein while, left, AFG members
mount the catafalque party at the
9th Division Memorial for the 70th
anniversary of the battle of El
Alamein. Photos: CPL Christopher Dickson
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