Fourteen young Queensland women recently attended the Women in Navy Technical Trades Camp at HMAS Cairns and experienced life at sea onboard hydrographic ship, HMAS Melville.
During the week-long camp, the secondary school students were exposed to roles such as Marine Technician, Aviation Technician and Electronics Technician.
The young women rotated through various workshops at the Cairns Fleet Support Unit where they practiced welding, soldering and wiring cables.
Navy’s Engineering Challenge equipment was made available and the participants pulled apart, rebuilt and started a diesel engine.
Working alongside Navy personnel, the girls learnt how a diesel engine works and how to solve technical problems.
As well as exposure to technical trades, the camp participants experienced physical training, team-building and leadership activities and observed Navy customs and traditions.
A sea-ride onboard Melville was a highlight for many of the participants. They were given an extensive tour, shown the ship’s survey equipment, medical officer’s facility, engine rooms, maintenance areas and the survey boats.
Demonstrations were also provided on how to deal with a fire onboard and how to stop a leak in a pipe or in the ship’s hull.
The girls then broke up into smaller groups according to their specific areas of interest and were given talks by Navy personnel on their roles.
Jaman Anau who attends Bentley Park College said the experience has made her interested in pursuing a career with Navy.
“I enjoyed the camp. It was a really good experience. The best part was going onboard HMAS Melville,” she said.
"It was awesome as we got to see up close the different type of jobs we can do in the Navy. I’d definitely love a career as a Boatswains Mate.”
Yeppoon State High School student Kaitlyn Earl-Rowe said she will also be applying for a career with Navy.
“The Navy is a definite for me; after school I hope to go straight into the Navy,” she said.
“I enjoyed the sea ride onboard HMAS Melville. It looked smaller from the outside but it’s so huge on the inside and there are so many people onboard; they’re like a tight-knit family.
“It was also great to have a chance to steer the ship and see how the sonar and radar works and how they survey the ocean floor.
"I would definitely recommend this camp to other people; it’s a great opportunity and any girls interested in Navy should take it!” she said.
A joint Defence Force Recruiting and Defence Work Experience Program initiative, this year was the second time the Camp has been held, with many of the participants from the inaugural camp now in various stages of the enlistment process.