Engineering careers for women at sea

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Harley Slatter (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Topic(s): Defence Force Recruiting, HMAS Melbourne (F05)

(L-R) Lieutenant Josh Fearnley, Miss Hannah Radford, Miss Elle Taylor, Miss Steph Coleman, Miss Julia Brown and Leading Seaman Marine Technician Justin Lamb inside the Central Control Station aboard HMAS Melbourne. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
(L-R) Lieutenant Josh Fearnley, Miss Hannah Radford, Miss Elle Taylor, Miss Steph Coleman, Miss Julia Brown and Leading Seaman Marine Technician Justin Lamb inside the Central Control Station aboard HMAS Melbourne.

The inaugural Women in Navy program has recently seen its first group of young females experience life at sea off the coast of New South Wales.

Sea riding aboard HMAS Melbourne, the participants learned about a range of career opportunities including engineering and technician specialties.

Leading Seaman Liv Brown from Defence Force Recruiting’s Specialist Recruitment Team-Women has been working hard with the Women in Navy program along with a Technical Trades Camp, an initiative she herself developed to get eager, young and focused females to consider many of these roles.

“Through a combination of initiatives around 50 per cent of the girls we’ve engaged with have started the Navy recruitment process,” Leading Seaman Brown said.

“I love the program. The best thing is the girls get to make the most informed decisions they can about job selection and assessment days from opportunities like this on board a ship.”

Elisha Biggs from Maleny in Queensland wants to become an engineering officer and took great interest in building her knowledge about the engines and other spaces below decks.

“This was great. Being able to talk to an actual Marine Engineering Officer and see the areas they work in on the ship has been really helpful career guidance,” Ms Biggs said.

“This day on a warship has given me a unique experience and helped me prepare for my officer selection board.”

Lieutenant Andrea Lock, Assistant Marine Engineering Officer in Melbourne shared her knowledge and experience with a number of the participants on their journey from Sydney to HMAS Creswell, in Jervis Bay.

“I wish I had something like this program growing up,” Lieutenant Lock said.

Along with Leading Seaman Brown there were other female mentors picked with Navy experience across a range of specialisations like Marine Technician, Boatswains Mate and Naval Police Coxswain.

Participants found out about the program from a number of sources including Facebook, friends and family.

To find out more about Navy work experience initiatives people can go to www.defence.gov.au/workexperience