Canine connection breeds wellbeing

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Cooper (author)

Location(s): Naval Memorial Park, Rockingham

Topic(s): Health, Fitness and Wellbeing

Able Seaman Cryptologic-Systems Sailor Lisa-Jane Manning with her two French Bulldogs (L-R) Ari and Cade, at the Naval Memorial Park, Rockingham, Western Australia. (photo: LSIS Lee-Anne Cooper)
Able Seaman Cryptologic-Systems Sailor Lisa-Jane Manning with her two French Bulldogs (L-R) Ari and Cade, at the Naval Memorial Park, Rockingham, Western Australia.

Time apart from families due to postings, deployments or training is a routine part of Navy life, and Navy members are increaingly finding that an emphasis on wellbeing helps the team supplement endurance and increase energy.

Able Seaman Cryptologic Systems Lisa-Jane Manning says she builds her mental and physical resilience thanks to the help of her two French Bulldogs.

Able Seaman Manning and her ‘Frenchies’ Ari and Cade, were selected by award winning photographer Janet Craig, to be showcased in the ‘One of the Family’ Pet Project campaign.

The trio were selected as one of 100 Australian families to be photographed for a national exhibition to help raise money for LifeLine's 24 hour suicide help line.

“The inspiring campaign will incorporate pets to create awareness for mental health, which is a great cause and an opportunity to represent Navy,” Able Seaman Manning said.

The football and netball loving sailor manages her personal resilience by keeping fit, taking a keen interest in her nutrition and spending time with her dogs.

Able Seaman Manning said that the transient nature of Navy life can be tough, and taking time out to walk her dogs on the local beach is a coping mechanism for being away from family and friends.

“Both my grandparents were in the services during the Second World War, and inspired me to alter my career direction from administration to join the Navy Warfare Community as a Cryptologic Systems sailor," she said.

Her five year Navy career has involved many interstate postings and sea-time on HMA Ships Ballarat and Toowoomba.

“I juggled my work/life balance with part time studies, completing a Business Degree in Organisational Leadership, and the management of the Navy Football Federation of Australia teams, as well as being away on deployment.

“My job involves communication and safeguarding intelligence information."

She encouraged the use of technology and social media to keep abreast of family life, which for her is Sydney-based, while her current workplace is in Western Australia.

“I was excited to be selected for the exhibition, along with the Frenchies – all for a great cause,” she said.

For information on how you can increase your wellbeing visit:
http://www.defence.gov.au/health/healthportal/