Gympie girl prepares Christmas lunch at sea

Published on SBLT Bianca Wise (author), LSIS Jo Dilorenzo (photographer)

Seaman Jaimylee Hutchison onboard a patrol boat for Christmas conducting border protection operations. (photo: LSIS Jo Dilorenzo)
Seaman Jaimylee Hutchison onboard a patrol boat for Christmas conducting border protection operations.

Like many across Australia this Christmas, Jaimylee Hutchison will be preparing lunch for a festive celebration. But, instead of cooking at home, Jaimylee will be in the galley of a Navy Patrol Boat deployed in Australia's northern waters.

Approximately 500 Australian Defence Force personnel are deployed this Christmas to Operation RESOLUTE, the ADF's contribution to Australia's whole of government border security effort.

This is the first Christmas away from home for Seaman Hutchison who would normally celebrate Christmas with her family in Gympie.

"We sit around the huge Christmas tree to unwrap presents and then have the biggest lunch ever," Jaimylee said, "then we just relax in each others company."

It's a big occasion for the former St Patrick's High School student who is also enjoying her first time at sea.

"Both my parents have done their fair share of time in the Navy and from listening to all of their stories it sounded like a pretty sweet deal to get into," Jaimylee said, "so I did."

Since joining the Navy she has now travelled to Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.

Jaimylee's latest adventure is to Christmas Island where she will conduct security operations in Australia's maritime approaches.

SMN Hutchison is a part of the Transit Security Element (TSE) currently embarked in HMAS Pirie.

This experience will no doubt bring some unique memories for the 18 year old, who so far counts getting up close and personal with a Royal Australian Navy submarine as a career highlight.

"I've been able to see all the submarines up close and had a tour which was pretty awesome," the Queenslander said.

"I'm enjoying life in the Navy, travelling around Australia and the world."