HMAS Stirling has welcomed Defence personnel, their families and VIPs to a Family Day on the final day of school holidays to explore workplaces and enjoy a variety of activities as the base turns its attention towards supporting future capabilities.
Commanding Officer Captain Brian Delamont said that opening the base to the public once a year, providing access for the families of Stirling personnel, allows members to provide an insight into their jobs and share pride in their achievements.
“Stirling is essentially a working dock, which means that security and safety restrictions across our logistics, operations and engineering work makes it difficult to host visitors,” Captain Delamont said.
“Many of the members who work here are not from the West - so this is our way to welcome their families and allow them to experience Navy equipment displays and live entertainment activities.
“Family Day is a great opportunity for families to get to know their new area, meet other Navy families and find out about the support services available on the base and in the Rockingham area.
“The tide is shifting, with a few more mothers deploying this year, so it’s an ideal opportunity for partners and Defence children to have a taste of what life is like in the Navy,” he said.
With Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Stuart alongside for the event, Officer of the Day, Lieutenant Guy Engelsman lived up to the ship’s motto ‘Always prepared’ by sharing his vast knowledge of the ship’s combat capabilities.
Also onboard, a contingent from the South African Military Veterans Organisation of Australasia took advantage of Lieutenant Engelsman’s presence, firing a barrage of questions about the ship's armaments.
The organisation’s Regional Chairman - Western Australia, Mr Dave Stevenson, said that the group comprised mainly Army veterans and learning Navy’s culture and terminologies was new to them.
“We also spent time at the Submarine Escape and Rescue Centre and witnessed this world-class facility,” Mr Stevenson said.
“I'm sure that the submariners value the ongoing investment in this capability, and their safety.
“I can honestly commend the Royal Australian Navy for their professionalism, as well as the way in which the various sailors interacted with us.
“They are well trained, highly articulate and showed genuine interest in our questions,” he said.