Darwin family fills Navy ranks

Published on Mr Darryl Johnston (author and photographer)

Location(s): Darwin, NT

Topic(s): Naval College, Australian Defence Force Academy

L-R: Commander Northern Command, Commodore Brenton Smyth; ADFA appointee Matthew Phelps; and Commanding Officer HMAS Coonawarra, Commander John Navin. (photo: Darryl Johnston )
L-R: Commander Northern Command, Commodore Brenton Smyth; ADFA appointee Matthew Phelps; and Commanding Officer HMAS Coonawarra, Commander John Navin.

Matthew Phelps is following in the footsteps of his older brother and sister and has joined the ranks of the Royal Australian Navy.

The 18-year-old former Darwin High School student was appointed to the rank of Midshipman by Senior Military Recruiting Officer, Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Greg Kilpatrick during a recent appointment ceremony at Defence Force Recruiting offices in Darwin.

He was also welcomed into the service by Commander Northern Command, Commodore (CDRE) Brenton Smyth and the Commanding Officer of HMAS Coonawarra, Commander (CMDR) John Navin.

Matthew will attend the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra after initial naval officer training at HMAS Creswell.

“It’s going to be a big lifestyle change as well as quite a promising career,” Matthew said.

“It will be hard to go from civilian life to military life, but I am looking forward to it,” he added.

Matthew’s parents, Greg and Denise are extremely proud of their son.

“He has been very excited about joining the military for some time after witnessing what his brother and sister have been doing in the Navy, his mother said.

“I have seen just how much Toby and Hannah have enjoyed their time in the Navy and I am very excited for Matthew,” Greg added.

Matthew will study to be a Maritime Warfare Officer.