Success builds bonds with the Rabaul community

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Des Paroz (author), ABIS Tara Byrne (photographer)

Location(s): Rabaul, PNG

Topic(s): HMAS Success (OR 304), Indo-Pacific Endeavour, Community Engagement

Members from HMAS Success and local high school students on the steps of the Malaguna High School Hall after the crew assisted in the maintenance of the school building in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018. (photo: ABIS Tara Byrne)
Members from HMAS Success and local high school students on the steps of the Malaguna High School Hall after the crew assisted in the maintenance of the school building in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2018.

During HMAS Success’ recent visit to Rabaul, in Papua New Guinea’s East New Britain province, members of the crew participated in a broad range of engagement activities with the people of the area.

Success was in PNG as part of the Australian Defence Force’s Indo-Pacific Endeavour, an annual activity with Australia’s neighbours to help build stability and security in our near region.

Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Parker, Success’ Executive Officer, described the range of activities undertaken during the short visit to Rabaul.

“Our crew readily volunteered to participate in more than 20 different activities during the two days we were in port,” Lieutenant Commander Parker said.

“In getting out to see the work undertaken I was really proud to see the results achieved in a short time.

“Notable for me were repair works at the Malaguna Secondary School, and a Women, Peace and Security workshop where we hosted local females who work in leadership positions in banking, hospitality, health and policing.

“Often when we conduct the Women, Peace and Security workshops the attendees are generally military and police officers, so the representation in Rabaul was different and very welcome. 

“In Rabaul it became clear that as strong female leaders in our respective fields we have all faced challenges, and that we can learn from each other’s experiences,” said LCDR Parker.

The work conducted at Malaguna Secondary School consisted of extensive repairs to the school’s Independence Hall and the home economics and woodworking classrooms.

Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Andrew McDonald was enthusiastic about the achievements of the crew at the school.

“Our crew built and painted new balustrades for the hall’s veranda, installed a new fan and installed hundreds of new window louvres and frames,” he said.

“In the home economics classroom, we installed three new ovens and four new fans, and freshened up the classroom with a new paint job.

“The students will benefit from having modern equipment to support their learning, and much cooler working conditions. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my Navy career.”

Petty Officer Electronics Technician Sarah Lindsay noticed that many of the school students were intrigued by the way that the ship’s crew carried out the work.

“It was interesting to watch the students as they observed how the men and women of Success worked together,” she said.

“We got lots of questions about life in the Navy, and I am sure that some of the students might consider that as a future option.”

Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Shane Murphy ran coaching clinics at two schools, and refereed at the friendly game of touch football between the East New Britain Rugby Club and a Success team.

“Regardless of culture and language, sports can bring people together,” he said.

“Working with the kids to coach sports was fun for both the volunteers from the ship, and for the kids participating. We were really pleased to be able to conduct the clinics, and to donate some sporting equipment for the schools.

“While the East New Britain Rugby team soundly beat the Success team, we all got to burn some energy and play a friendly game on a sporting field near Rabaul’s famous volcano.

“Their players were fast and we all enjoyed the friendly rivalry and the sporting challenge.”