The Northern Territory Government has recognised the integrity and leadership of a HMAS Coonawarra sailor by selecting him as a chaperone on its 2018 Anzac Spirit Study Tour.
Leading Seaman Imagery Specialist James Whittle, along with two other members of the Northern Territory community, will accompany 15 high school students to battlefields in Europe from 20 April to 2 May.
A highlight of the tour will be an Anzac Day ceremony at Villers-Bretonneux, in France, which will commemorate 100 years since Australian soldiers retook the French town from the German forces.
Leading Seaman Whittle said he was honoured by the opportunity.
“The role carries with it such a great responsibility, not only looking after the welfare of the year 9 and 10 students but also ensuring the sacrifices of our past and present servicemen and women are not forgotten by the next generation,” he said.
Leading Seaman Whittle has served in the Royal Australian Navy for 14 years. He has deployed to the Middle East and on border security operations a number of times.
Commanding Officer Coonawarra, Commander Viktor Pilicic, said the selection recognised Leading Seaman Whittle’s hard work and professionalism.
“The decision by the Northern Territory Government to select Leading Seaman Whittle as part of the tour not only demonstrates the outstanding character of the people we have at Coonawarra but also the ties we enjoy with the Top End community,” he said.
Imagery Specialists collect, process and disseminate photos and video for intelligence, combat and public relations purposes.
There is no direct entry for Imagery Specialists. Those interested must first join the Navy in another employment category and transfer across. Entry is highly competitive.
Examples of the work of Navy’s imagery specialist team can be found at http://images.navy.gov.au/images/