Navy on show in Harvey

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Harvey, Western Australia

Community members of Harvey, Wesern Australia with members of the Royal Australian Navy during the Harvey festival. (photo: Unknown)
Community members of Harvey, Wesern Australia with members of the Royal Australian Navy during the Harvey festival.

Navy was on show in Western Australia’s southwest recently when the HMAS Stirling Community Engagement team attended the annual Harvey Harvest Festival.

However, this year Navy brought something extra to the festival in the form of volunteers to help repair some of the damage caused by February’s devastating bushfires that swept through the shire.

Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Support Operations Toni Ralph said Navy’s offer of assistance was gratefully accepted by national disaster relief group Blaze Aid.

“Two Navy personnel came down to provide much welcome support to Blaze Aid the day before the festival,” she said.

“The farmers and their families can’t say enough in support of Blaze Aid – not only for the provision of labour, but for the friendship and emotional support this amazing group of volunteers provides.”

Blaze Aid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals across rural Australia after natural disasters hit – its members help rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed. 

The two Navy volunteers were Able Seaman Electronic Warfare Nicholas Conway from HMAS Ballarat and Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Yvonne Artis from Stirling.

This is the third time in the past five years that Navy has attended the Harvey Harvest Festival which Chief Petty Officer Ralph said offers a feast for the senses.

“Local produce was transformed in true paddock-to-plate style cooking demonstrations, with many of Harvey’s iconic brands, such as Harvey Cheese and Harvey Beef, on display,” she said.

Stirling’s Community Engagement Team, led by Chief Petty Officer Ralph, will attend a number of community events throughout the year as a way of promoting Navy to the Western Australian public.