Lucky eight get submarine experience

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), POIS James Whittle (photographer), CPOIS Damian Pawlenko (photographer), POIS Yuri Ramsey (photographer), LSIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Submarines (SSG), Defence Force Recruiting

Navy submariners and competition winners stand on the casing of Collins class submarine HMAS Sheean during a tour of HMAS Stirling, Western Australia. L-R: Katelyn Mayne, Sarah Cox, Jack Evans, Able Seaman Electronic Warfare Submarines Kale Vassallo, Damon Dawson, Melvin Wong, Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Submarines Leon Bromley, Noah Edberg, Kirkley Whiting, Leading Seaman Communications and Information Systems Submarines Casey Seizovic and Tahlia Purdie. (photo: CPOIS Damian Pawlenko)
Navy submariners and competition winners stand on the casing of Collins class submarine HMAS Sheean during a tour of HMAS Stirling, Western Australia. L-R: Katelyn Mayne, Sarah Cox, Jack Evans, Able Seaman Electronic Warfare Submarines Kale Vassallo, Damon Dawson, Melvin Wong, Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Submarines Leon Bromley, Noah Edberg, Kirkley Whiting, Leading Seaman Communications and Information Systems Submarines Casey Seizovic and Tahlia Purdie.

A group of eight young people with submarine careers in their sights were treated to a close-up encounter with a Collins class submarine at Australia’s largest Navy base recently as part of a national competition run by Defence Force Recruiting.

The competition called for entrants aged 18-35 to explain in 50 words or less which submariner role they would choose and why.

The winners, one from each state and territory, travelled to HMAS Stirling to take part in a submarine immersion program, meeting the women and men with whom they aspire to serve.

They experienced Navy simulators at the Submarine Training and Systems Centre tested their fitness, honed their skills on the Weapon Training Simulation System and explored the work environment on board HMAS Sheean.

Deputy Director Submarine Workforce Provisioning, Commander Paul Bartlett said he was delighted by the enthusiasm shown by the competition winners and hoped they would all go on to apply to become Navy submariners.

“The Submarine Recruitment Team put together a comprehensive and interesting program for the eight winners, and by all accounts it was very well received by all involved,” he said.

Victorian competition winner Tahlia Purdie said being part of a close-knit team appealed to her, and this competition was a fantastic opportunity to see what life was like in the Navy.

“I think it will be a very satisfying career because of the requirement to have multiple roles and responsibilities, and work in a close-knit team environment,” she said.

Damon Dawson from Maitland, NSW, said he gained an understanding of how Navy’s submarine squadron operates, and learned about the training involved in becoming a submariner.

“What I enjoyed most about this experience was the opportunity to explore and speak to sailors and officers of our Navy’s submarine fleet,” he said.

“Not everyone gets the opportunity to see a submarine, let alone get a guided tour of one,” he said.