Saxon Barling is a former pizza delivery driver turned electrician with a world of opportunities in front of him and a world of responsibilities.
As an Electronics Technician in the Royal Australian Navy, or ‘greenie’ as they are often referred to, Saxon is responsible for completing tasks which range from fixing a small toaster to maintaining the sensitive radar equipment onboard the Anzac class Frigate HMAS Parramatta.
The sailor from North Lakes in Brisbane will spend this Christmas onboard Parramatta, conducting border security patrols across Australia’s northern maritime border assigned to Operation RESOLUTE.
For Saxon, life in the Navy has meant long work days and long periods of time spent away from home and his partner, Ascha. But the demanding work has also been rewarding.
Like many young Australians, Able Seaman Electronics Technician Saxon Barling has travelled far and wide to places such as Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand. Unlike most, he counts himself lucky to have been paid a wage while he travelled.
Unique to most tradesmen, Saxon has also qualified to perform the auxiliary duty of Ships Diver. This means that he might be called on to untangle obstructions from the warship’s propellers or dive on suspect sunken in the Indian Ocean.
The boy from North Lakes has already got enough operational service under his belt to have been awarded the Operational Service Medal and an Australian Defence Medal for four years service. During his time in the Navy he has also been involved in a rescue of 106 people from a sinking ship.
“For me, working with my mates is the highlight of this job, as is enjoying downtime on the ship’s flight,” he said.
I’m sure you’d agree that these are not experiences you’d get delivering pizzas.