Anzac Day is about coming together to celebrate Australian mateship and to remember the fallen Australian and New Zealand soldiers. It ignites the spirit of community, bringing together people from all walks of life.
Each year, Australian Defence Force members rally around different cities and towns, all over Australia, to represent their service. It is an opportunity for many to return to their roots, celebrating the event in their home town, sharing with family and friends their pride to represent their country.
Able Seaman Lauren Armes, age 23, has had an exciting career to date. After joining the Navy in 2009 as part of the Gap Year program, Lauren discharged after twelve months to study at university. After missing the Navy lifestyle and the exciting prospects that it can provide, Lauren returned in 2011 and trained in Communication Information Systems. Starting with an Army Exercise in Papua New Guinea onboard HMAS Kanimbla, Lauren’s career with the Navy has been fast paced.
She enjoys the challenges of not having a regular nine to five job, of being constantly tested and always learning. The always changing advances in new technology can be exciting, and Lauren especially thrives in non-verbal communication methods, such as flags and Morse code.
Not a stranger to representing the Navy, Lauren has also participated in an exchange program with the Royal New Zealand Navy, spending three months onboard HMNZS Endeavour in 2013.
“Being accepted with open arms into their Navy, forming friendships with the sailors and officers, and living the RNZN lifestyle was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.
Lauren hails from Dingley Village, an area in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
“It is rare for anyone in those areas to join the Australian Defence Force. Most of my friends went on to university, to do nursing, teaching, or arts degrees,” she said.
A regular participant in community events, Lauren is often seen around Cairns, helping out the Red Cross, and partaking in school visits, talking to students about sailor life. This year’s Anzac Day was no exception.
This year was only the second year that Dingley has hosted an Anzac Day service, at its new monument. As a representative of the Royal Australian Navy, Lauren was present to lay a wreath and bring a touch of authenticity to the occasion.