Navy introduces new way to manage its most valuable asset: its people

Published on SBLT Nancy Cotton (author), ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill (photographer)

Topic(s): Training

(Please note that this image was taken before COVID-19 social distancing restrictions were put in place). Maritime Human Resource Officers Lieutenant Brendon Davies, seated, and Lieutenant Kristy Hoffman in the ship's office onboard HMAS Canberra during Fleet Certification Period 2020. (photo: ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill)
(Please note that this image was taken before COVID-19 social distancing restrictions were put in place). Maritime Human Resource Officers Lieutenant Brendon Davies, seated, and Lieutenant Kristy Hoffman in the ship's office onboard HMAS Canberra during Fleet Certification Period 2020.

Editor's Note: Please note that this activity took place before COVID-19 social distancing restrictions were put in place. Defence is currently following whole-of-government guidance from the Department of Health in relation to COVID-19. For more information on Defence's response to COVID-19, visit https://news.defence.gov.au/national/defence-response-covid-19.

March 5, 2020 was a significant date in the Royal Australian Navy’s calendar as it heralded the official launch of the Navy’s Maritime Human Resource Officer category. 

The newly created Maritime Human Resource Officer (MHRO) professional qualification has been designed to bridge the gaps identified by the Personnel Efficiency Review, enabling Navy to better manage its people. 

What will become a 155 strong team, allows MHROs to be a sea-going deployable workforce onboard every Major Fleet Unit, as well embedded in various bases, Force Command, Navy People Career Management Agency and other areas. 

Lieutenant Kristy Hoffman is currently posted to HMAS Canberra as the ship’s inaugural MHRO, enabling her to transfer skills and knowledge from her previous role within the Gap Year Cell as the Chief Maritime Logistics Personnel Manager into the MHRO PQ.

“I really enjoy working in the personnel space and providing a service to people, ensuring that things get done.

“As an MHRO, I can enhance the capability that Navy already has,” Lieutenant Hoffman said. 

During the recent Fleet Certification Period 2020, Canberra also had Lieutenant Brendon Davies embarked as part of Fleet Battle Staff - as an MHRO.

His role on board was to oversee the personnel functions of the Command Task Group (CTG). 

Lieutenant Davies was the Chief Maritime Logistics Personnel Manager at HMAS Stirling before transferring to MHRO. He said he has quickly learned during the transition that his former role is very different to that of an MHRO.

“The ‘PERS’ space is more customer focused, supporting divisional matters, whereas MHRO marries up personnel and operational functions, lining up what is going on tactically and strategically within the operational world,” Lieutenant Davies said. 

Lieutenant Hoffman said there were some great benefits of the new MHRO PQ, and the potential to make a difference in both the way Navy supports its people and the way it supports operations.

Both LEUTs Hoffman and Davies encouraged anyone thinking of transferring to MHRO to step forward. Expressions of interest are currently open for transfer into the new PQ.