Navy has continued to strengthen ties with the Northern Territory community during a school visit to the Top End Navy establishment, HMAS Coonawarra.
A group of 13 students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 and two teachers from Tennant Creek High School travelled 1000 kilometres north and conducted a tour of the Darwin base including an up close look at the Armidale class patrol boat, HMAS Launceston.
After a weapons display at Coonawarra’s armoury, students crossed the gangway and stepped aboard Launceston, which was docked alongside at the Fremantle Wharf.
Commanding Officer HMAS Launceston, Lieutenant Commander James Brewster and Maritime Warfare Officer, Midshipman Harry Nixon led students and teachers on a comprehensive tour of the ship, visiting key compartments including the bridge, galley, ship’s armoury and recreation areas. The Officers also took time to share their own experiences and insights into life at sea.
Tennant Creek High School teacher Mr Jeff Blow said it was a great experience.
“To be here by the sea is about as far as we can get from Tennant Creek and it’s really good for the students to experience new things.
“We’ve been coming up for about five years. It’s an annual trip and the kids love it.
“This is my third visit and every group of students is different,” Mr Blow said.
Although Tennant Creek is a long way from the ocean, Navy has a strong connection with the area through traditional land owners, the Warramunga (also spelt Warramungu) people and namesake Anzac class frigate HMAS Warramunga, recently returned from Operation MANITOU in the Middle East Region.
The visit was facilitated by Navy Community Engagement Program (NCEP) personnel who have been busy in the Northern Territory recently with visits to schools in remote communities and participation in the Henley on Todd Regatta in Alice Springs.