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LEUT Kelli Lunt
LEUT Michelle Rayner received
Navy's most prestigious training
award -- the Queen's Gold Medal -- at
a presentation at HMAS Waterhen on
The Queen's Gold Medal was first
awarded as the King's Medal in 1916,
and is presented annually to an offic-
er who has exhibited exemplary con-
duct, performance of duty and level of
achievement while undergoing officer
initial training and application courses.
LEUT Rayner, now posted to
Waterhen as the AUSCDT-1 maritime
logistics officer, completed her applica-
tion course in 2012 and deployed to the
MEAO for Operation Slipper in HMAS
COMTRAIN CDRE Michael
Noonan said LEUT Rayner had demon-
strated excellent motivation and enthu-
siasm through initial supply officer
training and at sea in Melbourne.
"LEUT Rayner is a worthy recipient
of the Queen's Gold Medal. She main-
tained a high distinction average across
all classroom modules of the applica-
tion course. At sea she demonstrated
exemplary attitude and a willingness to
learn and improve at all times," CDRE
"Although a junior officer, she read-
ily sought and accepted a significant
portion of her immediate supervisor's
tasks during an absence. During a logis-
tically challenging Operation Slipper
deployment, LEUT Rayner used her
initiative and developed innovative solu-
tions to supply issues and contractor
negotiations in foreign ports at a level
higher than expected.
"This is a significant Training Force
award and formally recognising the sig-
nificant work of our officers under train-
ing cannot be understated. Among her
peers, LEUT Rayner was considered a
most outstanding officer and we look
forward to seeing her progress in her
LEUT Rayner was surprised to find
out that she had won the award.
"The announcement came as quite a
shock," she said.
"I am very honoured by the award
and have been fortunate in the opportu-
nities I have been given, the experiences
I had and the people who supported me
throughout my training to allow me to
continuously learn and develop myself."
LEUT Rayner's sister Amanda
Jasper flew in from Adelaide to attend
the ceremony and she highlighted how
happy the family was of her sister's
"We are all so proud of Michelle and
her winning this award. I was thrilled to
be able to represent her family for her
presentation," Ms Jasper said.
Buckingham Palace allocates one
Queen's Medal each year to Navy. The
winner is awarded the post nominal
'QM' in the Navy List.
Past winners include RADM Nigel
Coates and CAPT Hector Waller.
LEUT Kelli Lunt
TWO warships progressed their unit
readiness after completing Exercise
Anzac 2013 with the Royal New
Personnel from Sea Training
Unit -- Major Fleet Units (STU -- MFU)
worked closely with the RNZN's
maritime operational evaluation team
(MOET) between August 19 and
September 26 to advance the training
and readiness of HMAS Stuart and
HMNZS Te Mana.
Outgoing Maritime Component
Commander CDRE John Martin, of the
RNZN, said reinvigorating the relation-
ship in training made sense given mutual
interests in the region.
"Australia is the only defence ally
that we have and so we must have a good
working relationship with the Australian
Navy," CDRE Martin said.
"Working together not only in the
exercise environment but also on opera-
tions is really important in being able
to deliver security in the South-West
"We know that we are only a small
navy and we benefit from being able to
tap into the ideas and procedures that the
larger Australian Navy has. Being able
to come across to Australia to enjoy the
large amount of resources and assets that
are available here is really valuable and
it enables us to really kick those goals
that we want to in terms of high-end war
Te Mana completed her directed
readiness evaluation, which is equiva-
lent to the RAN's unit readiness evalu-
ation, from September 19-20 in Jervis
Bay along with Stuart who conducted
her evaluation the following week.
The frigates conducted multiple
serials in company with each other as
well as drawing on ESPS Cantabria for
STU -- MFU fleet direction officer
LCDR Aaron Scott said the exercise
had been a good starting point for future
collaboration between the sea training
"Exercise Anzac has been very suc-
cessful," he said.
"I think we've provided a platform
and a structure which we can build on in
future combined work-ups.
"This is really the beginning of a
future with collaboration and a close
working relationship between Sea
Training Group and MOET.
"The greatest learning has occurred
through the junior operators in Stuart
being able to grow their skills in com-
pany with another ship, particularly a
non-Australian Navy ship, and have val-
uable feedback provided through MOET
and Sea Training Group in terms of the
growth and development of their skills."
Officer gets golden award
ALL SMILES: LEUT Michelle Rayner, centre, with her sister Amanda and CDRE Michael Noonan after
receiving her award at HMAS Waterhen.
Photo: ABIS Richard Cordell
Exercise with allies
UNIT READY: HMNZS Te Mana
anchored in Jervis Bay.
Photo: ABIS Jesse Rhynard
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