Scouting out a positive engagement

Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author), LSCIS Mark Mather (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cairns, QLD

Topic(s): HMAS Cairns, HMAS Wollongong (P92), Community Engagement

Petty Officer Ben Petersen escorting the Cairns Northern Beaches Scout Group as they visit HMAS Wollongong based at HMAS Cairns.

 (photo: LSCIS Mark Mather)
Petty Officer Ben Petersen escorting the Cairns Northern Beaches Scout Group as they visit HMAS Wollongong based at HMAS Cairns.

Over the past year, more than 100 Far North Queensland based Scouts have been welcomed to HMAS Cairns for educational tours. They have seen a range of Cairns-based Navy ships and craft, the base Armoury, Fleet Support Units and base activities. Combined with these activities, Navy Community Engagement has visited scout groups in the region from as far south as Ingham and north-west into the Atherton Tablelands. 

Recently, 25 scouts from the Cairns Northern Beaches Scout Group visited the base and were fortunate to be hosted on a tour of the Patrol Boat HMAS Wollongong.

Petty Officer Marine Technician Ben Petersen and Leading Seaman Communication Information Systems Mark Mather were more than happy to escort the group and point out the various aspects of the vessel, demonstrating equipment and systems. 

“It was a great opportunity for the scouts to experience the Navy first hand,” said LS Mather.

“A couple of the attending dads of the scouts are ex-Fremantle Class Patrol Boat sailors themselves, so they loved being able to get a glimpse of how much Patrol Boat life has improved since their day.”

The scouts enjoyed the opportunity to tour an operational Patrol Boat and learn more about the Navy’s role in the community and region.

During the base tours, scouts are given lessons in line handling, bends and hitches, engage in discussions on the roles of various ships and are shown videos and photographs of Navy in action, across the world and the in local region. HMAS Cairns staff conduct sessions on leadership through team building exercises. Games with a maritime theme are also played along with the sharing of lessons learnt amongst the scouts.

“A lot of these interactions with scouts are initiated through the requests of our numerous local members who are also scout leaders in their personal time,” said Navy Community Engagement Regional Coordinator LEUT Danielle Britton. 

HMAS Cairns has received return invites to visit some of the scout groups.