Keeping a lookout

Published on SBLT Kat Mulheron (author), LSIS Dove Smithett (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus

Outgoing Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus, Commander Mike Oborn, CSC, RAN (left) hands over the Telescope to incoming Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus Commander Melanie Verho, RAN at the Executive Officer handover ceremony held at Seamanship School in Victoria.  (photo: LSIS Dove Smithett)
Outgoing Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus, Commander Mike Oborn, CSC, RAN (left) hands over the Telescope to incoming Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus Commander Melanie Verho, RAN at the Executive Officer handover ceremony held at Seamanship School in Victoria.

The end of the year is a busy time for everyone, but often for Navy families it means a change of posting. This was the case for HMAS Cerberus Executive Officer, Commander Mike Oborn, and his replacement Commander Melanie Verho.
 
It is tradition for Navy’s ships and establishments to call a Clear Lower Deck for ship's company to gather and hear of important news and to witness significant occasions. So the men and women of Cerberus gathered to farewell Commander Oborn and meet his successor.

Outgoing Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus, Commander Mike Oborn, CSC, RAN addresses members of HMAS Cerberus during the Executive Officer Handover at the Seamanship School in Victoria.

Outgoing Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus, Commander Mike Oborn, CSC, RAN addresses members of HMAS Cerberus during the Executive Officer Handover at the Seamanship School in Victoria.


 
Commander Oborn spent three years as Executive Officer and was fondly referred to as the ship’s 'Dad'. He was praised for his genuine care for the welfare of the men and women of Cerberus, his involvement in running bible study programs, attending and supporting club sporting events and ensuring all sailors under his command felt a part of the Cerberus family.
 
While handing over responsibility, Commander Oborn recalled when he first learned of his posting to Cerberus in November 2010 he thought as a diving specialist, he might not be the right fit for Navy’s largest training establishment. He happily discovered that was not the case.
 
“I can’t tell you how much of an amazing time I’ve had over the last three years. There are a bunch of reasons; one is the fantastic people here at Cerberus who love what they do, another is that it’s just a great place where you meet and work with wonderful people,” he said.
 
“The trainees, the sailors who come through Cerberus, are the Navy’s future capability. I know my time spent here has been a privilege.”
 
Commander Verho was welcomed to Cerberus and was handed an old T. Cooke & Sons telescope, symbolising that it was now her time to look out for all Cerberus sailors.

Incoming Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus, Commander Melanie Verho, RAN addresses members of HMAS Cerberus during the Executive Officer Handover at the Seamanship School, in Victoria.

Incoming Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus, Commander Melanie Verho, RAN addresses members of HMAS Cerberus during the Executive Officer Handover at the Seamanship School, in Victoria.


“I’m excited about being here because this is from where the Navy grows,” she said.
 
Cerberus is where we develop and train excellent sailors, soldiers, airmen and women, and officers. Cerberus is about learning, training and growing; it’s about being the best you can be.”
 
Commander Verho joined Cerberus from much warmer climes, having assumed command of the Armidale Class Patrol Boat crew Attack Five in November 2011 with the majority of that time assigned to Border Protection operations.