Navy a natural choice for North Queensland sailor

Published on LCDR Tracey Bellerby (author), ABIS Sarah Williams (photographer)

Topic(s): Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP), Operation SLIPPER, HMAS Darwin (F04)

HMAS Darwin's Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Lawrence Sabadi. (photo: ABIS Sarah Williams)
HMAS Darwin's Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Lawrence Sabadi.

Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Lawrence Sabadi joined the Royal Australian Navy on 16 January 2012. Growing up in Cairns, his decision to join was heavily influenced by family members already in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Lawrence has several cousins, nieces and nephews currently serving in the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army.

Lawrence’s family always expected him to join the ADF, but were unsure which service it would be. After being involved in the Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP), through his uncle, his mind was made up with the Navy being the chosen path; though Army was a very close second.

Being involved in the DIDP enabled him to see for himself a variety of jobs available in the ADF and gave him a better opportunity to see what he really would be interested in.

As to why he elected to be a Boatswains Mate, Lawrence believed it was a job that was out of the ordinary and had a sense of adventure about it.

Able Seaman Sabadi is currently serving in HMAS Darwin, deployed on Operation SLIPPER in the Middle East Area of Operations. Despite travelling overseas and visiting other countries, Lawrence’s biggest highlight so far was when he was selected to represent indigenous people as part of the Royal Australian Navy’s Indigenous Dance Group at the Navy’s International Fleet Review (IFR) last year.

“Being selected to represent was a wonderful opportunity, I was very proud to be a part of acknowledging the indigenous people currently in the ADF,” ABBM Sabadi said.

The IFR was Navy’s celebration of the anniversary of the first entry of Royal Australian Navy warships into Sydney Harbour on 4 October 1913.

Darwin is assigned to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in the Middle East Area of Operations, where she is conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean.

Darwin is deployed in support of Operation SLIPPER in the 57th rotation of Royal Australian Navy ships to deploy to the Middle Eastern Area of Operations since 1990.

HMAS Darwin's Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Lawrence Sabadi.

HMAS Darwin's Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Lawrence Sabadi.