Tasmanian swaps the supermarket for a career at sea

Published on LEUT Harrison Ingham (author), ABIS Cassie McBride (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Tobruk (II)

Seaman Communications and Information Systems Bradley Spinks on the flag deck of HMAS Tobruk. (photo: ABIS Cassie McBride)
Seaman Communications and Information Systems Bradley Spinks on the flag deck of HMAS Tobruk.

Seaman (SMN) Bradley Spinks swapped his job stacking the supermarket shelves for a career at sea - and couldn’t be happier with his decision.

Born in Burnie and raised in Wynyard, Tasmania, Bradley worked at his local IGA supermarket for almost five years before deciding to join the Navy in 2012.

“I had always liked the idea of joining the Navy,” SMN Spinks said, “one day I was looking on the Defence Jobs website, and was exploring all of the different roles and a few days later, after some serious thought, I applied.”

Bradley is posted to the Royal Australian Navy’s Landing Ship - Heavy, HMAS Tobruk. Tobruk recently conducted a port visit to Hobart, giving the Tasmanian a chance to return home.

“It's been over a year since I've been back to Tasmania so a visit was well overdue,” explained SMN Spinks.

With the majority of Bradley’s family living on the north west coast of Tasmania the brief visit was a welcome taste of home for the Communication Information Systems sailor.

“My job is to provide communication by either voice or visually using flashing light or flags,” SMN Spinks said, “as a communicator, we manage all of the signals that come in and go out and our job is to make sure the communications flow smoothly and get to the correct department.

Bradley said he hasn’t look back since leaving Tasmania, and his supermarket job, two years ago.

“At this stage, I see myself staying in the Navy for many more years to come, hopefully working my way up through the ranks.”