Warship hospitality calls

Published on CPL Mark Doran (author and photographer)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Melbourne (F05)

Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Marine Logistics - Support Operations Georgia Watson prepares for another watch at sea aboard HMAS Melbourne, which is patrolling in the Middle East region for Operation MANITOU. (photo: Corporal Mark Doran)
Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Marine Logistics - Support Operations Georgia Watson prepares for another watch at sea aboard HMAS Melbourne, which is patrolling in the Middle East region for Operation MANITOU.

A Newcastle local has taken her hospitality career to a new level by working in a venue with a moving floor and an ocean view.

Georgia Watson, also known as Able Seaman Marine Logistics - Support Operations Watson, joined Navy in 2013 and has been a crew member with the Adelaide class frigate HMAS Melbourne since 2014.

Melbourne is currently patrolling waters in the Middle East as part of Operation MANITOU, Australia's contribution to the multinational Combined Maritime Forces in the region.

Melbourne main role is to intercept vessels smuggling illegal narcotics used to help fund international terrorism.

Able Seaman Watson said her father, who was a soldier in the Army before he transferred to Navy, gently encouraged her to enlist as a sailor.

“I enjoyed working in the hospitality industry when I was at Lambton High School,” she said.

“I also studied hospitality and tourism at TAFE, so it was easy career choice to join Navy.

“My role onboard Melbourne is to work in the wardroom alongside four other sailors where we directly support close to 30 officers.

“We are also involved in all official receptions when we are in port.”

Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Marine Logistics - Support Operations Georgia Watson prepares to lower the ladder for a sea boat aboard HMAS Melbourne, which is patrolling in the Middle East region as part of Operation Manitou.

Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Marine Logistics - Support Operations Georgia Watson prepares to lower the ladder for a sea boat aboard HMAS Melbourne, which is patrolling in the Middle East region as part of Operation Manitou.


After completing their initial 11 weeks at Recruit School, Support Operations sailors attend the School of Catering at HMAS Cerberus for eight weeks and gain their Certificate III in Hospitality before learning their ship-related hospitality skills.

Able Seaman Watson said port visits were an exciting highlight of her first operational deployment.

“Singapore was amazing and I visited Sentosa Island where I did a lot shopping,” she said.

“The best part of being a sailor is the friends I have made, I have met so many new people in the Navy.

“The junior sailors on Melbourne live and work closely together and we all get along well.

“We are a fantastic team.”

Able Seaman Watson said her other duties on Melbourne included being a member of the ship's medical emergency team.

Additionally, she is a member of the flight deck team for the ship’s S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter.

“I am also on a team that launches the sea boats for the boarding parties,” she said.

Able Seaman Watson said she intends to continue her career with Navy and may transfer to be a dental assistant in the future.

“After this deployment I hope be posted back in Sydney before my next sea-going adventure and look forward to catching up with my Mum and friends in Newcastle,” she said.