Comet Bay College honours its Navy story

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Harriet Pointon Mather (author), POIS James Whittle (photographer)

Location(s): Secret Harbour, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Honours, Awards and Trophies

Five former students, now sailors from HMAS Stirling, visited with some senior students and the headmaster at Comet Bay College in WA. L-R: Student Tyron Powles; Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Jake Starkie; Comet Bay College Headmaster Mr Jamie Hayres; Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Daniel Molley; Student Hannah Weise; Student Lachlan O'Hehir; Able Seaman Electronics Technician Dillon Slater; Seaman Combat Systems Operator Chantelle Whitaker; and Seaman Gap Year Marli-Jay Robertson. (photo: POIS James Whittle)
Five former students, now sailors from HMAS Stirling, visited with some senior students and the headmaster at Comet Bay College in WA. L-R: Student Tyron Powles; Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Jake Starkie; Comet Bay College Headmaster Mr Jamie Hayres; Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Daniel Molley; Student Hannah Weise; Student Lachlan O'Hehir; Able Seaman Electronics Technician Dillon Slater; Seaman Combat Systems Operator Chantelle Whitaker; and Seaman Gap Year Marli-Jay Robertson.

Serving Navy members from HMAS Stirling recently attended their former school, Comet Bay College in Secret Harbour, Western Australia, as the college acknowledged their service in the school’s Hall of Honour.

Portraits of the members were hung in the Hall which commemorates and acknowledges the contribution of past students, teachers or Australian Defence Force family members.

“Comet Bay College has a long-standing relationship with the Defence community and the Hall of Honour reflects our commitment to this relationship,” Principal, Mr Jamie Hayres, said.

Best mates, Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Jake Starkie and Able Seaman Electronics Technician Dillion Slater joined the Navy within six months of each other after graduating from the school.

Friends since primary school, the two men undertook training at HMAS Cerberus at the same time and still remain close friends today despite their careers taking them in different directions until they were reunited at HMAS Stirling recently.

Able Seaman Slater, whose career has taken him to many interesting destinations including India, and Pakistan, said the Navy offered a unique employment opportunity.

“I’ve been to places and seen things that other people just don’t get to see, things I will never forget,” Able Seaman Slater said.

Petty Officer Starkie said he appreciated the offer by the college to be part of the Hall of Honour.

“It’s a great thing for students that are thinking of joining the ADF to see us come back and hear about our experiences,” Able Seaman Slater said.

Three senior students, all hoping to join the Navy, hosted the Stirling personnel for the event and morning tea.

Year 12 student Hannah Weise said she hoped to become a medical sailor and has already started the recruitment process, while fellow students Tyron Powles and Lachlan O’Hehir hope to join as a Marine Technician and Midshipman respectively.

Sailors from HMAS Stirling visited their former school, Comet Bay College in WA. L-R: Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Daniel Molley; Seaman Gap Year Marli-Jay Robertson; Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Jake Starkie; Able Seaman Electronics Technician Dillon Slater; and Seaman Combat Systems Operator Chantelle Whitaker.

Sailors from HMAS Stirling visited their former school, Comet Bay College in WA. L-R: Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Daniel Molley; Seaman Gap Year Marli-Jay Robertson; Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Supply Chain Jake Starkie; Able Seaman Electronics Technician Dillon Slater; and Seaman Combat Systems Operator Chantelle Whitaker.