Redcliffe girl recognised for operational service

Published on Department of Defence (author), CPL David Cotton (author)

Location(s): ADFA, Canberra

Topic(s): Honours, Awards and Trophies

Royal Australian Navy Midshipman Rene Van Rooyen from the Australian Defence Force Academy visits the Wall of Remembrance inside the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.  (photo: CPL David Cotton)
Royal Australian Navy Midshipman Rene Van Rooyen from the Australian Defence Force Academy visits the Wall of Remembrance inside the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Life in the Navy is second nature to Queenslander, Rene Van Rooyen.

“I joined the Navy because I love the beach and all water sports as well as travel,” she said.

The former Redcliffe State High School captain was recently awarded the Operational Service Medal (OSM) at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).

Rene was awarded the OSM in recognition of her time aboard HMAS Parramatta as an assistant maritime logistics officer in 2013.

As a Maritime Logistics Officer, Rene was responsible for the delivery of all logistic support functions required by the ship and its crew of 168 personnel. 

“My time on Parramatta was great, as it provided me an opportunity to learn my job first hand,” she said. 

“I was also fortunate enough to be apart of the International Fleet Review last year, which has been the highlight of my career so far.”

Protecting Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests has now been placed on hold for Rene, who will commence her academic studies at ADFA in 2014.  

Australian Defence Force Academy cadet, Midshipman Rene Van Rooyen, is presented the Operational Service Medal by the Chief of Defence Force, General David Hurley, AC, DSC during a parade rehearsal at the ADFA Parade Ground.

Australian Defence Force Academy cadet, Midshipman Rene Van Rooyen, is presented the Operational Service Medal by the Chief of Defence Force, General David Hurley, AC, DSC during a parade rehearsal at the ADFA Parade Ground.

“I am looking forward to commencing my Bachelor of Business and learning Indonesian,” she said.

“Indonesian will provide me great opportunities and support my career in the Navy.”

Rene has three years to complete her Bachelor’s degree and further leadership training at ADFA before continuing her career in the Royal Australian Navy.

At the age of 19, Rene has come along way in life since leaving the Bay and joining the Navy.

Rene is a former player with the Peninsula Power Football Club and also Queensland state tri-athlete.

“I miss my sports, especially playing back home but I am looking forward to getting back into it at ADFA, especially after being at sea for most of 2013,” she said.

“The snow is also close to Canberra so I am eager to ski during our breaks.”

ADFA is a tri-service education and training institution that enables young men and women to pursue the early stages of their careers in the ADF. Military training and university education provides ADFA students with an excellent foundation to their future roles as leaders in the ADF.