LEUT Michelle Rayner received Navy’s most prestigious Training Award – the Queen’s Gold Medal - at a presentation at HMAS Waterhen on Thursday, 26 September.
The Queen’s Gold Medal was first awarded as the King’s Medal in 1916, and is presented annually to an Officer who has exhibited exemplary conduct, performance of duty and level of achievement whilst undergoing officer initial training and application courses.
LEUT Rayner, now posted to HMAS Waterhen as the AUSCDT1 Maritime Logistics Officer, completed her application course in 2012 and deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations for Operation SLIPPER in HMAS Melbourne.
Commodore Training, Commodore Michael Noonan said LEUT Rayner had demonstrated excellent motivation and enthusiasm through initial Supply Officer training and at sea in HMAS Melbourne.
“LEUT Rayner is a worthy recipient of the Queen’s Gold Medal. She maintained a high distinction average across all classroom modules of the application course. At sea she demonstrated exemplary attitude and a willingness to learn and improve at all times,” CDRE Noonan said.
“Although a junior officer, she readily sought and accepted a significant portion of her immediate supervisor’s tasks during an absence. During a logistically challenging Operation SLIPPER deployment, LEUT Rayner used her initiative and developed innovative solutions to supply issues and contractor negotiations in foreign ports at a level higher than expected.
“This is a significant Training Force Award and formally recognising the significant work of our Officers under training cannot be understated. Amongst her peers, LEUT Rayner was considered a most outstanding Officer and we look forward to seeing her progress in her Naval career. Training Force congratulates LEUT Rayner.”
LEUT Rayner said she was surprised to find out that she had won the award.
“The announcement for the Queen’s Gold Medal came as quite a shock. I am very honoured by the award and have been fortunate in the opportunities I was given; the experiences I had; and the people who supported me throughout my training to allow me to continuously learn and develop myself,” LEUT Rayner said.
LEUT Rayner’s sister Amanda Jasper flew in from Adelaide to attend the ceremony and she highlighted how proud the family was of her achievements.
“We are all so very proud of Michelle and her winning this award. I was thrilled to be able to represent her family for her presentation,” Amanda said.
Buckingham Palace allocates one QM per year to the RAN. The winner is awarded the post nominal ‘QM’ in the Navy List.
Past winners include RADM Nigel Coates and CAPT Hector ‘Hec’ Waller.