Driving sailors' service excellence

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT John Thompson (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Kuttabul

Topic(s): HMAS Kuttabul

HMAS Kuttabul personnel conduct work outplacement at Doltone House in Sydney. (photo: Unknown)
HMAS Kuttabul personnel conduct work outplacement at Doltone House in Sydney.

A unique program has been launched designed to upskill and professionalise hospitality sailors in a move that will bring civilian expertise and skills to Sydney’s First Fleet Mess and broader fleet.

A secondment program has been established by the hospitality and catering team at HMAS Kuttabul linking in with one of the country’s pre-eminent function centres, Doltone House.

Hospitality Catering Officer Lieutenant Commander Rachel Entwistle said the two year program will give participants an insight into a world-class civilian catering operation.

“We need to look at contemporary ways to motivate and develop our Support Operations sailors and an opportunity to give them this sort of exposure,” she said.

“Working with a renowned company like Doltone House will help us do that.”

Able Seaman Maritime Logisitics – Support Operations Connie Whaipooti is the first sailor to take part in the program, describing it as an amazing opportunity.

“This opportunity has opened my eyes to what’s happening outside of Navy and is giving me more motivation to do my job,” she said.

The program will run until December 2018 and involves rotating one sailor a month into Doltone House’s Jones Bay Wharf function centre.

Sailors will be selected based on their standard of work, bearing and attitude to the job. 

They are required to complete a taskbook and, on completing the out-placement, they may be able to continue working at Doltone House, providing their Commanding Officer approves secondary employment.

A similar program was launched in 2012 for Navy chefs with Navy partnering with national café/dessert chain, Choco Bean. Able Seaman Maritime Logistics – Chef Dimitri Bellas, was a participant in the chefs’ program.

“Navy is great, but being able to work in a commercial kitchen is a great privilege because it has exposed me to new ways of doing things that have made me better at my job,” he said.

The Manager of Hospitality and Catering department at HMAS Kuttabul, Warrant Officer Simon Allanson, said outplacement programs were being undertaken elsewhere in Navy.

“Partnering with the best of private industry ensures that we continue to operate at the highest standards possible with a skilled and motivated workforce,” Warrant Officer Allanson said.

Able Seaman Whaipooti said in the short time she has been working at Doltone House she has learnt a huge amount.

“I’m becoming more skilled, more professional and more passionate about my job and can’t wait to share some of the skills and knowledge I’ve learnt when I get back to work,” she said.