In a fitting turn of events, an Able Seaman who was tasked with ensuring worthy Navy members were recognised in the Australian Honours and Awards system has been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Assistant Staff Officer Honours and Awards Able Seaman Musician Kirstin Hansch received the Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) for devotion to duty in ensuring personnel across the Fleet were recognised for their achievements.
“Having processed so many of these I know how much work and discussion goes into awarding one,” she said.
“I didn’t tell anyone in my family apart from my husband but I know that they will be proud of what I have achieved.”
Able Seaman Hansch has worked at the Honours and Awards Cell since 2012 and has enjoyed seeing more than 600 awards processed.
“Recognising our people is incredibly important and I think that it greatly increases the members’ job satisfaction knowing that their contribution is valued,” she said.
“The honours and awards process can be very drawn out but it is definitely worth it.
“It’s great to be able to see people being recognised for the work that they are doing out in the Fleet.
“I have been very fortunate to have had managers that have given me opportunities and responsibilities that I would not normally have been given as a musician.”
Able Seaman Hansch encourages personnel to nominate their subordinates or peers when they are doing an exceptional job.
“It is not always successful, and it does require a bit of work, but the impact on someone's career when it is successful is well worth the effort,” she said.
After serving in the Navy for more than a decade, her message for junior sailors coming out of recruit training at HMAS Cerberus is simple.
“Take every opportunity that is offered to you,” she said.