Staff and cadets from Australian Navy Cadet units Australia, Hawkesbury and Sirius joined HMAS Melbourne in December for a day of fun and education about life at sea.
The aim of the day was to provide an experience of a warship environment and let the cadets participate in activities to give insight into a career in the Royal Australian Navy.
Cadets were divided into small groups and were involved in door and hatch entries for fire fighting as well as small arms demonstrations, breathing apparatus and fire suit demonstrations, chart work, sextant and range finding tasks, flags and flashing light.
Cadets and staff also had morning tea and lunch with the ship’s crew and the opportunity to ask questions about life and jobs at sea.
Commanding Officer Melbourne, Commander William Waters, said it was imperative that the visitors were able to get involved.
“I’m glad the cadets were able to take away so much from the practical displays and activities, as well as the really positive communication with the crew; many of who volunteered to be available on their weekend for the visit.”
Cadet Leading Seaman Daphne Christodoulou from Training Ship Sirius said the experience had opened her eyes to what a career in the Navy could entail.
“The visit gave a really good insight into life on the water. I am seriously focussing in on my career choices now,” she said.
Royal Australian Navy Captain Mona Shindy, a staff member with New Training Ship Australia, said that the team from Melbourne were highly professional and really left the kids with an excellent impression of the Navy.
“They were generous with their time and advice, giving the cadets valuable insights into potential careers and the nature of life at sea. This kind of thing makes a big difference to the cadets. It activates imaginations and inspires young adults,” she said.
So what was the best acvtivity – the cadets found it impossible to choose.
“It was a great fun experience. I learnt a lot of useful things,” said Seaman Housni Dannaoui from New Training Ship Australia.
Melbourne’s visit liaison officer Sub Lieutenant Andrew McQueen said he also really enjoyed the interaction and mentoring aspect, identifying the cadet question of the day as being,”If we are all stuck in the middle of the ocean, which rank do we eat first?”
With a many positive comments from all involved, it’s likely that visits to other ships will be on the cards.