Getting their hands dirty

This article has photo gallery Published on Ben Robinson (author), LAC Michael Green (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Harman, Clean Up Australia

Petty Officer Kristie Cotton, helps clean up the entrance to HMAS Harman for Clean Up Australia Day. (photo: LAC Michael Green)
Petty Officer Kristie Cotton, helps clean up the entrance to HMAS Harman for Clean Up Australia Day.

A combined effort of 40 Navy, Army and Air Force members spent last an afternoon helping make their workplace and surrounds beautiful by participating in the Clean up Australia campaign recently.

Since 1989, Clean Up Australia Day has seen thousands of groups and individuals identify a location within Australia and remove rubbish from the site. 

In 2015 the official day was 1 March, however, Commanding Officer of Canberra Navy base, HMAS Harman, Commander Jayne Craig, got everyone in her team off to an enthusiastic head start by inviting all members attached to HMAS Harman to clean up the sides of the roads that run in close proximity to the base.

“The invitation went out to everyone regardless of service. It was a fantastic response from all three services and indicative of the attitude of individuals and workplaces to a clean and environmentally sustainable work environment and surrounds,” Commander Craig said.

Armed with rubbish bags, gloves and a positive attitude, participants patrolled the sides of Canberra Avenue and Waller Road picking up every piece of paper, chip packet or cigarette butt they could see. 

Warrant Officer Scott Brown was amazed at the quantity of rubbish that was collected in such a short time.

“We collected for a couple of hours, and almost everyone filled at least one large bag each. It is amazing what can be achieved in a short space of time. We all felt a sense of accomplishment to have made a difference to our environment,” Warrant Officer Brown said. 

“It was also great to receive honks of encouragement from passing motorists."

It is expected that HMAS Harman will participate in Clean Up Australia again next year. For more information visit