Surveyors graduate to the fleet

Published on Department of Defence (author), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, New South Wales

Topic(s): HMAS Penguin

Eleven personnel became the world's newest internationally qualified hydrographic surveyors when they graduated from the Royal Australian Navy’s Hydrographic School’s H2 Course at HMAS Penguin on 11 November. (photo: LSIS Peter Thompson)
Eleven personnel became the world's newest internationally qualified hydrographic surveyors when they graduated from the Royal Australian Navy’s Hydrographic School’s H2 Course at HMAS Penguin on 11 November.

Eleven personnel became the world's newest internationally qualified hydrographic surveyors when they graduated from the Royal Australian Navy’s Hydrographic School’s H2 Course at HMAS Penguin on 11 November.

The H2 Hydrographic Surveying Course is a twenty-five week course for officers entering the hydrographic branch, and Leading Seamen Hydrographic System Operators aspiring to further their careers as hydrographic surveyors.

The Hydrographer of Australia, Commodore Brett Brace, welcomed the graduates to "the family of international hydrographers" at the event attended by families and friends, and representatives from the New Zealand Navy.

“You have joined a proud career for Navy and the nation," he said.

"You now have the expertise to proceed to sea to make a positive impact for the mariner, but you must do so with diligence and skill."

"You also have a very specific and equally important role in supporting military operations.”

Head of Navy's Warfare Community, Commodore Stephen Hughes, urged the graduates to continue learning.

“The challenge for you all is a simple one. As you progress through the various stages of your careers, always consider your role as part of the wider warfare workforce,” Commodore Hughes said.

“It is for this reason that you need to look at ways you can build on your own professional mastery.”

The 25 week course takes students from theory to practice, culminating in a two week assessment period within Sydney Harbour where they must demonstrate the ability to plan, execute and collect maritime geospatial and environment data to create nautical charts and products for military operations and exercises.

In the graduating class were personnel from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Fiji. 

All now have internationally recognised qualifications. Lieutenant Stuart McIntosh, who was awarded the Gowlland Medal for the highest consistent performance says the course was practical and hands on.

“It has been six months of theory and practice. We would spend 30 hours every week in the classroom, but most of our time was spent doing," he said.

“This established a working knowledge of hydrography and put into practice mathematics, computer science, geodesy, nautical cartography, meteorology, tides and GPS,” Lieutenant McIntosh said.

“It was both challenging and well-instructed. I enjoyed the course and look forward to putting what I have learnt into action.”

Navy's hydrographic fleet is based out of HMAS Cairns in Queensland, and also provides charting data that helps with maintaining safe navigation in the region.