The Royal Australian Naval College at HMAS Creswell has increased its capability to provide accommodation for serving members and their families, with the conversion of an onboard married quarter into fully self-contained live-in accommodation.
The conversion has met the needs of Navy’s changing workforce and provided comfortable family-friendly accommodation where it was not previously available.
Serving members attending short promotion courses at the college or undertaking Combat Survivability courses at nearby Training Faculty East are able to travel and live with families and dependents while on board at HMAS Creswell.
Lieutenant Commander Engineering Officer Makaila Lasalo stayed in the new accommodation recently along with her husband Pat, and daughters Moana and Fusipala.
Currently posted to the Hydrographic System Program Office in Cairns, Lieutenant Commander Lasalo travelled to HMAS Creswell to attend the four week Lieutenant Commander Promotion Course, which ended on 01 December 2017.
Without the new accommodation option, Lieutenant Commander Lasalo would have been unable to attend the course, and complete a vital career milestone and promotion prerequisite.
“I was at a loss as to how I was going to complete my promotion course and fulfil my family obligations, including nourishing my infant daughter.
“I knew I had to complete my promotion course in order to be confirmed in rank, so I contacted the staff at the Royal Australian Naval College to see what options were available.
“It was a huge relief when I was informed that there was family-friendly accommodation available on board.’ Lieutenant Commander Lasalo said.
Along with the family accommodation, a breast feeding room is available in order to support ongoing care requirements during classroom facilitation.
With her family settled and comfortable, Lieutenant Commander Lasalo was able to devote her full attention to the course outcomes, and was awarded Dux with the highest overall academic results.
“The training faculty staff went above and beyond to support me and my family during the four weeks.
“My success on course is just as much a result of the support of my husband and the staff as my own hard work,” she said.
The family stay option ensures members with dependents are given every opportunity to continue their training away from their home location.
A second cottage is expected to be available from mid-2018 while the Defence Childcare Centre ‘Kangaroo Cottage’ can accommodate short stays for most age-groups.