Career challenge accepted

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), CPL Bill Solomou (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, New South Wales

Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Natalie Carey from HMAS Creswell is currently deployed to the Middle East region. She works in the Joint Task Force 633 Headquarters at Camp Baird as an administration assistant.  (photo: CPL Bill Solomou)
Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Natalie Carey from HMAS Creswell is currently deployed to the Middle East region. She works in the Joint Task Force 633 Headquarters at Camp Baird as an administration assistant.

Pushing out of her comfort zone has taken Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Personnel Operations Natalie Carey from Sydney all the way to the Middle East.

Married to a career sailor and turning 38, she decided to challenge herself to a change in lifestyle, enlisting through the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria.

“You never know what you are capable of until you push yourself to the next level,” she said.

“I wanted to prove to my 17 year old daughter, that no matter how old you are, you can always do something meaningful in life,” she said.

Unsurprisingly her background in office administration drew her to a personnel management role, but in contrast her office is now in a military headquarters.

Able Seaman Carey said she was honoured and grateful to be given the opportunity to deploy, but the logistics with a serving husband were sometimes challenging.

Petty Officer Aircraft Technician Airframes Julian Carey had just returned from deployment in HMAS Melbourne, when Able Seaman Carey was packing her bags for six months away.

Settling into her position at headquarters Joint Task Force 633 orderly room, Able Seaman Carey is the first point of contact for any deployed personnel seeking administrative assistance.

“My team here is tri-service, however primarily Navy, we look after the day to day operations of headquarters administration,” Able Seaman Carey said.

“This includes coordinating honours and awards and the patching in of new members."

“It’s a great team environment and I love being here,” she said.