Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Shannon Evans says creativity and a sense of humour helped her thrive amid the unique challenges of working at sea during her East Asia Deployment in HMAS Hobart.
It was the first operational overseas deployment for the new Guided Missile Destroyer, and it was also Leading Seaman Evans’ first deployment.
She said she was well-trained for the key part of her job, having undertaken a six-month course learning basic class teaching skills, anatomy and physiology lessons, exercise, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning and basic nutrition education.
“I feel I’m equipped to do my job, but the lifestyle at sea certainly comes with its own challenges!”
“You have to be creative and have a sense of humour for it all, because you never know when the elements or the ship’s program will change your initial plan,” Leading Seaman Evans said.
A ship’s company relies on physical training and sport to keep fit and keep morale high, and Leading Seaman Evans takes her job very seriously.
She runs more than 20 physical training sessions a week, in addition to her Standing Sea Fire and Emergency Party duties and administrative role as the Executive Officer’s Assistant.
“My favourite part of the deployment so far has been conducting a SWIMEX (crew swim off the ship) in the middle of the ocean, followed by a steel deck barbeque (a barbeque on the deck of a ship) - in the middle of nowhere!” Leading Seaman Evans said.
The Physical Training Instructor has brought her creative energy into planning engaging shipborne sports days, including a steel deck bin ball championship, inter-departmental sporting challenges and of course, high energy circuit workouts designed to keep the blood pumping and the camaraderie going.
She also facilitated ship’s welfare activities such as a trivia event and a World Mental Health Day activity.
“We are all out here to do a job for our country, for our family and friends back home, but we’re also out here for each other.
“If we’re looking out for each other, then everything else falls into place,” Leading Seaman Evans told the crew during a World Mental Health Day presentation.
Leading Seaman Evans is looking forward to posting to her home city of Newcastle next June, to work at Defence Force Recruiting.
“My family is very excited, and I’m thrilled that I’ll get to work from my home and share my experiences,” she said.
During its three-month deployment, Hobart participated in Exercises NICHI GOU TRIDENT, HAEDOLI WALLABY, ANNUALEX and PACIFIC VANGUARD, engaging with partners Japan, Republic of Korea, the United States and Canada.
The Hobart class guided missile destroyer returned to her homeport of Sydney last week.