Anchors away for Canning vale Kid

Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef James Carter places a tray of pumpkin in the oven for roasting onboard HMAS Perth.  (photo: ABIS Richard Cordell)
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Chef James Carter places a tray of pumpkin in the oven for roasting onboard HMAS Perth.

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Jimmy Carter says life in the Navy has provided him many adventures, including his latest, deploying to the Middle East in HMAS Perth.

He grew up in Canning Vale, in the south of Perth, and raced BMX and played rugby and footy before joining the Navy at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria before doing nine months at TAFE in Frankston learning how to be a chef.

After earning his Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, Able Seaman Carter started was posted to patrol boat HMAS Glenelg.  

Since then he has served in other units including Anzac frigate, HMAS Parramatta, and sailed around Australia and South East Asia.  

“I’ve done a fair bit of Operation RESOLUTE [border protection] but this is my first Operation MANITOU deployment, which will be rewarding in the sense that it is longer and we’ll get to see some interesting places,” he said.

“The perception of my job for an outsider could seem quite monotonous, but it never becomes too stagnant.  

“The menu is changing every week within a six-week cycle menu.  

“It’s also never the same for the sheer fact that we’re not always cooking,” Able Seaman Carter said.

“I could be prepping in the kitchen and then out of the blue there is a toxic hazard called.

“I’m part of the response team, so I have to get dressed into our special breathing gear known as Open Circuit Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus and go down into a toxic environment in order to save the ship and look after my shipmates - it’s very different,” Able Seaman Carter said.

While Able Seaman Carter is looking forward to his six months in the Middle East, he said it was hard to leave his parents, Donna and Phillip, and girlfriend, Rachel. 

“I have plenty of mates onboard and we look after each other, we’re pretty tight,” he said.

Able Seaman Carter is part of the 63rd rotation of a Royal Australian Navy ship to the Middle East region and he will return to Western Australia just before Christmas. 

This is the first time Perth has deployed on Operation MANITOU, which is Australia’s contribution to counter-terrorism, counter piracy, narcotics interdiction.