In April, a group of 23 indigenous recruits from some of the most remote northern parts of Australia visited HMAS Watson as a part of the Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP).
Aside from having an opportunity to see what is arguably the best view in the country, the goal of their visit was to gain an insight into the warfare categories of employment on offer in the Royal Australian Navy.
The morning commenced with a welcome by Watson’s Executive Officer, Commander Jan Noonan, and the Ships Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Paul Cohen, who told stories of how their own careers have unfolded.
Lieutenant Commander Chris Mills and Chief Petty Officer Rod Waites told the visitors of the support available to Navy personnel.
“There is always someone to talk to when you are feeling lost and alone, no matter what your background is,” the two men told their guests.
The recruits then watched a warfare simulation in the Operations Room, during which they were able to have a chat with some sailors in order to gain an insight into life as a sailor.
After watching the simulation, the visitors were treated to a hands-on tour of the Bridge Simulator, which gave them the chance to take a Patrol Boat for a virtual ‘spin’ around Sydney Harbour.
Throughout the day, the recruits asked many questions regarding potential career options in the Royal Australian Navy, with topics ranging from general lifestyle to warfare specific and both the sailor and officer streams.
The visit was well received and enjoyed by all, with Watson looking forward to continued involvement with the program.
Press Release, May 13, 2014; Image: Australian Navy