Despite the surprise of a cold Melbourne day on her first day as a new recruit, Chanaya Resek-Takai of Prince of Wales Island in the Torres Strait, has never regretted her decision to join the Royal Australian Navy.
The 20-year-old former Tagai Secondary College student and daughter of Karel Takai and Michelle Resek, is a ranked Able Seaman specialising as a Boatswains Mate.
“I think it was the coldest night I had ever experienced when I arrived at Navy Recruit School. I was scared, not knowing what was in store for me and on top of it, I was home sick,” Chanaya recalled.
“It was the toughest 11 weeks of my life,” she said. “However, within the first two weeks, everyone went from strangers to life long friends.”
“Even though recruit school was very challenging, we also had a great time on those well deserved weekends exploring the ‘big smoke’, Melbourne. I will always hold those memories close,” Chanaya added.
Chanaya recalls her graduation from Recruit School was a momentous day she will never forget.
“Everyone was excited and proud for making it this far in our new career,” she said. “Marching out onto the parade ground for the final time in front of our families and friends was spectacular. I felt so proud of myself standing out there in front of my family,” she said.
Chanaya said it was an amazing feeling to be dismissed as recruits for the last time after the graduation parade.
“After completing 11 weeks of hardcore training, I felt such relief and a sense of pride. Not only for representing the Torres Strait but first and foremost my parents who are apart of this life changing journey. I am thankful for their loving support,” she said.
After graduating from Navy Recruit School, Able Seaman Resek-Takai posted to Australia’s Federation Guard in Canberra, the official tri-service ceremonial arm of the Australian Defence Force. During her posting to Canberra she also travelled to Papua New Guinea to participate in the official ceremonies for the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay. She is now serving on board Anzac Class FFH, HMAS Stuart.