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February 28, 2013
LEUT Andrew Ragless
THE dream of a birthday celebration
in a sunny, exotic, tropical destination
became reality on February 10 for one
of Navy’s youngest maritime warfare
In a joint celebration, XO Attack
Five LEUT Jessica Sullivan, of HMAS
Bathurst, shared her birthday with the
ship she serves in and calls home for
much of the year.
LEUT Sullivan and Bathurst cel-
ebrated their 25th and 27th birthdays
respectively during a port visit to Bali
for the ship’s replenishment amid north-
ern patrols as part of Operation Resolute.
LEUT Sullivan said it was a birthday
to remember and an honour to share it
“It’s a Navy tradition that the most
senior and the most junior members cut
the cake to celebrate their ship’s birth-
day,” she said.
“CO Bathurst CMDR Melanie Verho
declared Command State Oscar, which
effectively put me in charge of the
whole boat, so I was able to cut the cake
myself, while keeping with Navy tradi-
CMDR Verho said the visit to Bali
and the two birthdays made for a seren-
“Although these visits are somewhat
routine, we were welcomed by tradi-
tional Balinese dancers and alongside we
prepared a feast of Peking duck, sweet
and sour pork and honey chicken to cel-
ebrate the Chinese New Year as well as
the birthdays,” she said.
HMAS Kuttabul’s first morning tea
of the year on February 7 ended
with a celebration that surprised
even the base commander.
No sooner had CO Kuttabul
CMDR Todd Willson welcomed
new personnel and spoken about
issues important to Navy than the
staff of Kuttabul surprised him with
a birthday party.
CMDR Willson was amused to
see the door of the main galley open
to reveal his family, a cake with
sparklers and five Navy Band musi-
cians with trumpets and trombones.
“I am absolutely overwhelmed
with gratitude,” he said.
CMDR Willson said he was
meant to know everything that hap-
pened at Kuttabul, “but I had no idea
of the surprise birthday party”.
After renditions of Happy
Birthday and For He’s a Jolly Good
Fellow, CMDR Willson cut the
birthday cake, created by LS Vicki
Bailey, and shared it with personnel.
CPO Simon Allanson meticu-
lously planned and executed the
CPO Allanson said he was
proud to be in charge of the cater-
ing department at Kuttabul, which
has some talented chefs with strong
At the morning tea, CMDR
Willson presented a number of
honours, medals, promotions and
awards, including Australia Day
medallions to WO Robert Van Eldik
and CPO Brett Meldrum.
CPO Meldrum said his medal-
lion reflected the hard work per-
formed by all the cooks at the
Kuttabul main galley, who prepare
up to 2000 delicious and healthy
meals each week.
“The award is a tribute to the
professionalism of the cooks at
Kuttabul,” he said.
celebration in Bali
CELEBRATION: LEUT Jessica Sullivan, left, and CO HMAS Bathurst CMDR
Melanie Verho alongside in Bali where they were greeted by traditional
Balinese dancers during a recent port visit.
FAMILY TIME: CO HMAS Kuttabul
CMDR Todd Willson cuts his birthday
cake with wife Christina and sons
Riley, Finn and Nathan.
Photo: ABIS Cassie McBride
Red Cross law course
REGISTRATIONS are open
for this year’s first Red Cross
International Humanitarian Law
course. Running from March
19-22 in Brisbane, the course
will address the international
humanitarian law needs and
interests of the ADF and its
application to the Red Cross
Red Crescent Movement. For an
information pack and application
form contact Eve Massingham on
or 07 3367 7290.
A REDEDICATION ceremony of
the Navy Memorial will be held on
March 1 to coincide with Navy’s
112th birthday. The ceremony
will start at 10am at the memorial
on Anzac Parade in Canberra.
The memorial’s updated and
corrected battle honour boards
will be unveiled on the day.
For more information contact
James McPherson at james.
Boundless needs help
BOUNDLESS Canberra, a charity
committed to providing play areas
for children of all levels of ability,
is appealing to the generosity
of Canberra’s public servant
and military workforce to add to
support already being provided
by the private sector and the
ACT Government’s Community
Centenary Initiative Fund.
Boundless Canberra hopes to
gift an AFL oval-sized playground
on the shores of Lake Burley
Griffin. Defence members can
donate to Boundless Canberra
through BPAY or a direct, one-
off donation by visiting www.
100 years on
THE Osborne Park Association
Inc, Navy and the City of Greater
Geelong will celebrate the cen-
tenary foundation of the Royal
Australian Navy College on
March 2. The program will begin
at 10.30am with a parade com-
prising a guard contingent from
HMAS Cerberus, naval cadets,
the Navy Band and serving
and former Defence members.
Photographic exhibitions will
also be on display at Osborne
House and the Geelong Maritime
Museum. For more information
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