HMAS Parramatta conducts port visit to Vanuatu

Published on LEUT Louella Yu (author), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): Port Vila, Vanuatu

Topic(s): Operations

HMAS Parramatta sails towards a tropical sunrise as she prepares to berth at Port Vila, Vanuatu, during Operation Solania. (photo: ABIS Richard Cordell)
HMAS Parramatta sails towards a tropical sunrise as she prepares to berth at Port Vila, Vanuatu, during Operation Solania.

HMAS Parramatta recently conducted a port visit to Port Vila, Vanuatu in support of Operation SOLANIA, which aims to assist South Pacific Islands in protecting their own fisheries and natural resources to foster economic development and stability in the South Pacific region.

Whilst in Vanuatu, Parramatta conducted maritime exercises, including a well-executed formation entry and crew exchanges with RVS Tukoro, a Pacific Patrol Boat operated by the Vanuatu Police Force Maritime Wing.

Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing Patrol Boat, RVS Tukoro, braves rough seas to escort HMAS Parramatta into Vanuatu during the Ships Operation Solania deployment.

Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing Patrol Boat, RVS Tukoro, braves rough seas to escort HMAS Parramatta into Vanuatu during the Ships Operation Solania deployment.


Before setting sail from Port Vila, the boarding party on Parramatta also conducted fishery boarding exercises with some members of the Vanuatu Police Force Maritime Wing.

Sub Lieutenant Christopher Saville said the teamwork and partnership between the two nations was great to see.

"Some of the ship's company engaged with the community by assisting in painting the cafeteria in Malapoa College, Port Vila's higher public education institute.

 Leading Seaman Military Logistics - Supply Chain Lisa Thompson and other volunteers from HMAS Parramatta paint the dining hall of Port Vila's Marapoa College while the ship is in Vanuatu.

Leading Seaman Military Logistics - Supply Chain Lisa Thompson and other volunteers from HMAS Parramatta paint the dining hall of Port Vila's Marapoa College while the ship is in Vanuatu.


"It was a very rewarding experience for all involved," he said.

Leading Seaman Dale Marriott said the ship also enjoyed some inter-nation sport

"Some of Parramatta's crew fielded an amateur cricket team to play a T20 game against the Vanuatu Cricket Team, with the latter coming out as champions.

HMAS Parramatta was challenged to a cricket match by a mixed team of male and female members made up from Vanuatu's National side while the ship was alongside in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

HMAS Parramatta was challenged to a cricket match by a mixed team of male and female members made up from Vanuatu's National side while the ship was alongside in Port Vila, Vanuatu.


"It was good to have this interaction with the community, for me, witnessing the sports culture is one of the highlights of coming to foreign ports," he said.

An official reception for the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Government officials, diplomats and local figures was also held on the flight deck of Parramatta, which was catered for and supported by the Maritime Logistics Cooks and Stewards onboard.

Parramatta delivered an Australian feast, which included emu, kangaroo and prawns, which was well-received by the guests. A 12-man ceremonial sunset guard was the highlight of the evening, which was commanded by Lieutenant Joel Marrison.   

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, The Honourable Joe Natuman and Commanding Officer HMAS Parramatta, Commander Simon Cannell, RAN, inspect the12 person welcoming guard while the ship is visiting Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, The Honourable Joe Natuman and Commanding Officer HMAS Parramatta, Commander Simon Cannell, RAN, inspect the12 person welcoming guard while the ship is visiting Port Vila, Vanuatu.


During the port visit when duty was not required, ship’s company had the opportunity to explore the beautiful natural environment of Vanuatu. Some were lucky enough to participate in activities such as island hopping to Irikiki, Hideaway and Erakor Islands, abseiling in Mele Cascades, and diving and snorkelling the many wrecks and reefs around Port Vila.

Parramatta's Commanding Officer, Commander Cannell, said the port visit provided a valuable opportunity to build on the strong relationship between Australia and Vanuatu.

Parramatta is conducting a four week patrol through the South West Pacific to conduct regional engagement and to support the policing the Economic Exclusive Zones of Pacific Island Countries, including operations under the Niue Treaty.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20141972.