For Able Seaman Mathew Tickner, being the only Communication and Information Specialist on the survey motor launch HMAS Mermaid is a challenge he is ready and willing to accept.
”Radios, flags and IT support, I do it all,” he said.
Delivering the full range of communications to support the ship and crew is a role he takes pride in and one he strives to enhance and learn from each day.
With nine years’ service in the Navy, Able Seaman Tickner greatly enjoys the added responsibility of working with a professional team contributing to the hydrographic work of the Navy.
Survey ships use sophisticated computer systems to collect data about the ocean and sea floor that is then used to produce and update nautical charts used by both the Navy and commercial shipping.
Problem-solving IT issues on board a moving platform at sea is a long way from Launceston, in Tasmania, but a Navy career has delivered the adventure and travel that he sought when finishing college.
His pride in his family history associated with the Royal Navy and Australian Army combined with his passion for his branch drives his commitment to the Navy, his ship and crew mates.
Mermaid and her sisters HMA Ships Paluma, Shepparton and Benalla along with larger hydrographic vessels HMA Ships Leeuwin and Melville form the backbone of Australia’s national ocean-going hydrographic survey capability.
Operating out of Cairns in Far North Queensland, the team works in Australian and regional waters to improve safety through improving the accuracy of nautical information.