Shoalhaven students set to soar

Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), Mr Rob Crawford (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Albatross, NSW

Topic(s): Training, HMAS Albatross

The LongLook vocational program students following their graduation. (photo: Mr Rob Crawford)
The LongLook vocational program students following their graduation.

Seven Shoalhaven students delivered a presentation on the complexities of Bernoulli’s Principle, the Dissymmetry of Lift and Anti-torque to an audience of teachers, careers advisers, Navy personnel, and their families as part of their graduation from LongLook, an intensive naval aviation vocational program for high school students run by HMAS Albatross.

The students were sharing some of what they had learnt throughout the year long program which started in Terms 1 and 2 with Quicklook, where year 10 students from high schools throughout the area visited Albatross for a basic overview of naval aviation careers.

Those with a genuine interest continued on to NextStep to learn leadership, team-building and job-seeking skills.

Students who hoped to progress to the next stage LongLook, were required to submit a written application and were then selected for their commitment and aptitude.

The seven selected for the 2013 LongLook program were Victoria Pattie (Shoalhaven High), Matilda Baard (Shoalhaven High), Joel Longworthy (Nowra High), Jayden Cockley (Bomaderry High), Bailey Hooker (Nowra Anglican College), Michael Eccles (Bomaderry High) and Lachlann Conway (Shoalhaven High).

Bailey Hooker’s mother, Danii, congratulated the Navy on the program.

“I’d like to say a big thank you on behalf of all the parents. This is a fantastic program and a great initiative for our kids and our area,” she said.

“Bailey’s really enjoyed coming every week and has really gotten a lot out of it.

“He’s been looking at going into the Navy for some time and one of the benefits of this program is that it has given him a chance to see what it is all about before signing up.

“He’s been able to go through and have a look around and also have hands-on experience,” Mrs Hooker said.

Bailey, who aspires to a career as an aircraft technician with 723 or 816 Squadron said the theory was definitely the biggest challenge for him.

“It was difficult maintaining attention and coming to terms with it all but I feel like I’ve got a grasp on it now and the experience has definitely helped me out with my future choices with the Navy,” he said.

Fellow graduate Victoria Pattie agreed that the theory was a hurdle.

“All that information is hard to handle and we not only had to take it in but also explain it to an audience today. We also did a lot of fun stuff, we visited the bomb dump, did underwater escape training and spent time with the Squadrons - learning what a day in Navy aviation is really about.”

Course co-ordinator, Chief Petty Officer Glenn Smith said this understanding was one of the strengths of the program.

“It is a steep learning curve for the students and there is a lot of information to absorb, but the students all leave here with an in-depth knowledge of career options and with this understanding comes a greater respect and appreciation of what Navy, and more specifically what Naval Aviation is all about,” CPO Smith said.