Graduates make flying visit to Albatross

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author)

The Defence Graduate Development Program gets those newest to the Department, out and about to see the day-to-day business of 'protecting Australia and its interests'.  Graduates recently dropped into HMAS Albatross as part of a whirlwind tour of New South Wales bases.  (photo: Unknown)
The Defence Graduate Development Program gets those newest to the Department, out and about to see the day-to-day business of 'protecting Australia and its interests'. Graduates recently dropped into HMAS Albatross as part of a whirlwind tour of New South Wales bases.

The Defence Graduate Development Program gets those newest to the Department, out and about to see the day-to-day business of 'protecting Australia and its interests'.  Graduates recently dropped into HMAS Albatross as part of a whirlwind tour of New South Wales bases.

Program Manager Angela Dodgson says the tour is an invaluable component as it provides the graduates with an insight into the contribution that public servants can make in enabling the operations of the Australian Defence Force. 

“By visiting Defence establishments, the graduates develop an understanding of how decisions made in Canberra can impact on operations, capability and development and this valuable exposure makes them better prepared to fulfil future appointments,” Ms Dodgson said. 

The most recent tour commenced at RAAF Williamtown and stopped at HMAS Kuttabul, HMAS Penguin, and Holsworthy Barracks before heading to HMAS Albatross for the final night. 

Albatross is always a popular part of the tour as the graduates have the opportunity to get up close to the helicopters of the Fleet Air Arm and visit the Army's Parachute Training School.  This itinerary included an exciting new addition, a visit to the recently opened state-of-the-art Seahawk Simulation and Warfare Centre where Senior Instructor, Chief Petty Officer Aviation Technician - Avionics Robert McLean and Technical Training coordinator, Lieutenant Daniel Vale showed the graduates around.

“The visitors were able to see the next generation of aviation technical training,” Chief Petty Officer McLean said. 

“We’re particularly proud of our maintenance simulator, the Avionics Maintenance Weapons Loading Trainer, which is an invaluable addition to the training system. 

"I was also pleased to show them the entire technical training system and how it has grown from a foreign military sales procurement, to being exercised and delivered in the Australian environment, where it will assist in delivering  highly-trained aviation technical sailors to the Squadrons.

“While the visit was a great opportunity to demonstrate these new high-tech capabilities it was also an important opportunity to talk to the group about how their personal leadership skills will make the difference, not only to their careers, but also to the people they work with, and will be responsible for, and if they take one thing away from this visit today I hope it’s an insight into how the team behind the scenes is just as important as the team at the coal face," Chief Petty Officer McLean said. 

The range of experiences on this tour included chatting with fighter pilots about what its like to fly the Air Force's Hornets and Hawks, powering through an Army Physical Training session, seeing Military Working Dogs in action, being taken on a ship tour of HMAS Sydney, checking out the Navy's Diving School at HMAS Penguin and visiting the Special Forces Training Facility at Holsworthy.

“They’re exposed to a  some very diverse aspects of Defence in just a few days,” Ms Dodgson said. 

The program aims to provide future leaders across the Department by recruiting high-calibre university graduates from across all disciplines to five key career pathways: Generalist, Human Resources, Information, Finance and Infrastructure.