Sirius navigates historic visit to Norfolk Island

This article has photo gallery Published on SBLT Samuel Jackson-Maher (author)

Location(s): Norfolk Island

Seaman Communications and Information Systems Tristan Brooker; Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Support Operations Jessica Gunning and Able Seaman Marine Technician Mitchell Davis share insights into Navy life with students at Norfolk Island Central School (photo: )
Seaman Communications and Information Systems Tristan Brooker; Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Support Operations Jessica Gunning and Able Seaman Marine Technician Mitchell Davis share insights into Navy life with students at Norfolk Island Central School

The ship's company of HMAS Sirius marked an important event in Australia’s maritime history when the Royal Australian Navy support vessel visited Norfolk Island in late March. 
 
The visit commemorated 226 years since her namesake and flagship of the First Fleet, HMS Sirius struck a reef and sank near the island on 19 March 1790. 
 
She was the first ship wrecked in Australian waters after the arrival of the First Fleet. No lives were lost and, thankfully for the near starving residents of Norfolk Island, most of her cargo was salvaged before the ship broke apart.
 
Commanding Officer HMAS Sirius, Commander Michael Oborn, said it was also the first time his vessel had visited the island for the event. 
 
“It was a long overdue opportunity to re-establish the ship’s unique ties with Norfolk Island and for ship’s company to learn more about the historic bond," he said.
 
He and several members of ship’s company used the occasion to visit Norfolk Island Central School and answer students’ questions about life in the Navy.
 
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Support Operations Jessica Gunning said the children were engaging.
 
“It was a great experience; awesome to speak to the kids about their future and give them some ideas on what the Navy is like," she said.
 
"They were very interested in what we had to say."
 
The Norfolk Island community came out to welcome Sirius and her 60 crew members, organising tours of the former island penal colony.
 
Sirius
 is the first Royal Australian Navy ship to carry the name. HMS Sirius (I) was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1780. 
 
Sirius
 was selected because of its historical connections with the First Fleet and the important role the ship played in providing logistic support to the struggling economy. Her motto is "to serve and provide".
 
For more information on the ship, vist her page on the Navy website http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-sirius.