Privileged posting to a powerful ship

Published on SGT Dave Morley (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (author)

Location(s): Fleet Base East

Topic(s): HMAS Hobart (D39), Commissioning

Midshipman Emily Tollenaar stands on the bridge of NUSHIP Hobart alongside Garden Island, Sydney.  (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Midshipman Emily Tollenaar stands on the bridge of NUSHIP Hobart alongside Garden Island, Sydney.
Midshipman Emily Tollenaar has only been in the Navy eight months and has already become part of the crew joining the newest addition to the Fleet. 
 
The Maritime Warfare Officer is one of only four members of her intake from the Royal Australian Naval College to be posted to HMAS Hobart III’s commissioning crew and said she felt privileged to be in such a special ship. 
 
“It’s a milestone I’ll look back on, as opposed to if it was any other ship,” she said. 
 
“It’s also a great opportunity to learn about the future Navy a lot of others in my cohort won’t have – they’re all saying how cool it is to get a posting here. 
 
“There’s an aura around a powerful ship like a destroyer that other ships don’t have.” 
 
The destroyer commissions as a Royal Australian Navy warship on 23 September and is the first of three due to enter the Fleet in the coming years. 
 
Midshipman Tollenaar said she joined the Navy because she enjoyed adventure and an active lifestyle.
 
“I want to specialise as a principal warfare officer and eventually command my own ship, like a frigate or a destroyer,” she said. 
 
“I’m quite lucky to be with a good crew – they’re always helpful and willing to lend a hand.
 
“I post off Hobart in January, but while I’m here I’m looking forward to putting all the theory I’ve learnt into practice.” 
 
Midshipman Tollenaar will be proceeding to the Australian Defence Force Academy for tertiary studies before re-joining her Maritime Warfare Officer training and the Fleet on graduation.