It’s a harsh environment, but the instructors at the Royal Australian Navy School of Survivability and Ship Safety (RANSSSS), nicknamed the ‘School of many Ss’, are dedicated to the task of teaching our sailors how to survive and gain control of life threatening situations on our ships and submarines.
On 5 May 1998, a fire on board HMAS Westralia (II) claimed the lives of four crew members, highlighting the complexity in trying to prepare for every emergency situation.
Leading Seamen Bradley John Meek was one of those sailors who perished in the fire. In his memory, the Bradley Meek Perpetual Shield is awarded annually to the most outstanding Combat Survivability Instructor at the ‘School of many Ss’.
Senior Instructor at the school, Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Steven Paterson, said the professionalism and dedication of our instructors is second to none, with all staff extremely aware of the importance of what they teach.
“Selecting a winner is never easy when you consider the high calibre of instructors we have across the three Royal Australian Navy combat survivability schools.
“It is always a pleasure acknowledging outstanding performance by members of our team,” Chief Petty Officer Paterson said.
The 2019 Bradley Meek Award has recently been presented to Petty Officer Marine Technician Michael Chenneour, who was recognised with the award for his endeavours as a Training Facilitator.
In Petty Officer Chenneour’s role as an instructor, he has created a positive learning environment for all ranks and constantly promotes a ‘be the best that I can be attitude’.
He has empowered all trainees under his instruction to better understand their Combat Survivability duties and responsibilities to successfully respond to Damage Control emergencies at sea.
The award was presented by Head of Maritime Warfare South, Commander Ashley Shanks, at the RANSSSS Training Facility West, which is located at HMAS Stirling.