Many mark Australia Day with family and friends, feasting at barbeques and picnics and filling the day with relaxation or celebration. For Petty Officer Boatswain Simon Yates, this Australia Day will be forever remembered as he was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal for meritorious achievement in Boatswain training implementation as the Boatswain's Faculty Program Assistant at HMAS Cerberus.
Growing up in Winmalee in the Blue Mountains, Petty Officer Yates spent many an Australia Day with family, sharing the belief that everyone in Australia, regardless of background, whether born here or newly arrived, should celebrate Australia and the freedoms it gives its people.
“I was excited to hear I’d received the award and on such a significant day. No member of my family has ever received such an honour,” said Petty Officer Yates.
“My parents share that honour; they instilled ethics and values into me as a child and always made me strive to be the best that I can, and then to try to be a little bit better.”
Since joining Navy in 2003, Petty Officer Yates has served as part of five Operations, including RELEX II, CATALYST, SLIPPER, RESOLUTE and DELUGE. His training has made him a valued part of a ship's crew at sea and ashore where he’s shared his knowledge to help others achieve the same opportunities.
“I’ve had some amazing experiences with Navy. My first ever trip out of Australia was with HMAS Newcastle to Hawaii for Exercise RIM OF THE PACIFIC.”
“Just as rewarding has been the responsibility of being a Weapons Instructor and teaching the next generation of Navy’s Boatswain's Mates how to do their job safely, with confidence and pride.”
Recently promoted, Petty Officer Yates was recognised for his dedication to his duties as a Leading Seaman and is one of just two Junior Sailors recognised this year. He attributes his award to striving to improve as a Boatswain, following Navy’s values and contributing his ideas to help his colleagues and the Navy improve.
“I love being a member of the Navy and a member of the Boatswain’s Faculty, as I get to help shape the next generation of sailors. I only wish I had joined Navy when I was 18 instead of 34.”