Respite builds team ethos in Canberra

This article has photo gallery Published on LSIS Helen Frank (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer), CMDR Guy Lewis (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, Sydney

Topic(s): Sport, HMAS Canberra (L02)

The Executive and Amphibious departments test each others skills with a game of deck hockey at HMAS Canberra's sports day at Fleet Base East in Sydney. (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
The Executive and Amphibious departments test each others skills with a game of deck hockey at HMAS Canberra's sports day at Fleet Base East in Sydney.

The ship’s company of HMAS Canberra have been making the most of recent time alongside with training, leave and teamwork activities high on the agenda.

Canberra’s Chaplain Andrew Lewis said it was important to work on team cohesion with uncertainty about the ship’s program the crew needed to maintain a sense of purpose and stay resilient.

“Bringing the ship’s company together for a sports day earlier in the month was one of the ways we worked on this,” Chaplain Lewis said.

“Some departments also organised team building activities away from the ship where they could refocus and recharge.”

Chaplain Lewis said even though these activities were designed around having fun and getting away from work, it was also a reminder that people are the Navy’s best asset.

“We can have all this amazing capability but without well lead, inspired, capable men and women it just becomes hardware,” he said.

“So as we were trying to come up with a way ahead for the platform, it allowed us to stop and think about our people.”
Chaplain Lewis said all the activities the ship’s company were involved in helped to renew their enthusiasm and made them refocus.

“And while it’s easy to work on a ship’s company’s physical resilience, these activities help them with resilience of the mind and heart,” he said.

The Maritime Logistics department travelled to Canberra and toured the Australian War Memorial and other significant sites. The Marine Engineering department took on white water rafting as a team-building activity.

Leading Seaman Marine Technician Reece Hayman said about 50 members of the department took up the opportunity to interact with colleagues as friends outside of the workplace.

“Throughout the day there was a number of different activities that required us to work together helping to building camaraderie as a department,” he said.

“It was a fun day, physically straining at some points but with lots of laughter.

“The day allowed us to get to know each other better, improving our ability to face new and difficult challenges in a positive way.”

Leading Seaman Hayman said the highlights of the day were all the tumbles out of the raft and just having a good laugh.

“Having these days to get out and do sporting and team building activities really boosts morale and camaraderie, leading to a stronger workforce,” he said.