When Australian students contemplate their future careers, many have had little hands-on experience with the choices available, so for a group of Western Australian youngsters, the chance to try Navy on for size was a very real decision-making tool.
Hosted by HMAS Stirling, the Defence Work Experience Program provided two groups interested in Defence careers a taste of the roles available in the Royal Australian Navy.
A group of 13 young people were provided an insight into the technical life ashore and rotated through different technical trade opportunities that Navy provides – from weapons communication to ship fabrication.
Regional Manager of Fleet Support Unit – West, Lieutenant Commander Mark Janiszewski said that students were shown through various workshops, exposing them to marine engineering, weapons engineering and boatswain production sections.
“We aim to get the students interested in Navy technical roles,” Lieutenant Commander Janiszewski said.
“In fact, Lieutenant Aidan Gallagher came through here as part of his work experience and he is now serving here as a Marine Engineering Officer,” he said.
A second group of 16 students were exposed to discussions with different Navy units and hands-on activities in Stirling throughout the week.
National Manager for Defence Work Experience Program, Anna Whipp, said that it was a great opportunity for young people to gain exposure to the wide range of jobs available across Defence.
“It's a chance to try something new and exciting,” Mrs Whipp said.
“Approximately 40 per cent of participants decide to progress to Defence Force Recruiting after completing work experience,” she said.
Mitchell Donovan, a Year 10 student from Mandurah Baptist College, shared his thoughts on the week’s activities.
“It’s been pretty good, and we had good insight on what Navy personnel do at Stirling,” he said.
“I am interested in the technical side of things so the job that interests me the most is the role of the Electronics Technician Submarines.
“Personally I have always wanted a career in the military – my dad is an engineer in the submarines here at Stirling,” he said.
Christopher Stronach, a Navy cadet and student from North Albany Senior High School travelled up from the port city in the Great Southern region to experience Navy life in Stirling.
“I have really enjoyed the week, I started off wanting to be a boatswain but now a few other job categories have grabbed my attention,” he said.
“I am also looking at the requirements to be an Acoustic Warfare Analyst in submarines.
“I want to join the Navy to be at sea as much as possible.
“The Navy provides the lure of travel, my love for ships and a routine each day,” he said.
“A big attraction for me is to serve and protect Australia.”