Keeping it in the family – three Navy dads, three Navy daughters

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Melinda McMullen (author)

Location(s): Wollongong, New South Wales

From left: Lieutenant Jess Webster, Lieutenant John Webster, Midshipman Jessica McGannon, Commander John McGannon, Seaman Communication and Information Systems Ann Hooper, and Lieutenant Commander Brice Hooper enjoy spending time together following the Anzac Day march in Wollongong. (photo: Unknown)
From left: Lieutenant Jess Webster, Lieutenant John Webster, Midshipman Jessica McGannon, Commander John McGannon, Seaman Communication and Information Systems Ann Hooper, and Lieutenant Commander Brice Hooper enjoy spending time together following the Anzac Day march in Wollongong.

Following in your father’s footsteps seems to be something of a tradition in Wollongong with three naval officers being joined by their currently serving Navy daughters for Anzac Day commemorations in the Illawarra.
 
Commander John McGannon, Lieutenant Commander Robert (Brice) Hooper and Lieutenant John Webster got the chance to join forces for this year’s Wollongong Anzac Day march reinforced by the next generation and future of the service.
 
Midshipman Jessica McGannon travelled from Canberra, where she is currently studying science at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Seaman Communication and Information Systems Ann Hooper flew in from Western Australia’s HMAS Stirling, and Medical Officer, Lieutenant Jess Webster is currently posted to HMAS Warramunga in Sydney.
 
Commander McGannon and Lieutenant Commander Hooper are both hydrographic surveyors and are posted to the Australian Hydrographic Office in Wollongong.
Lieutenant Webster is a Dental Officer currently working in the Navy Reserve.
 
“It’s a proud moment for our family and so great to have Jessica here to participate in the Anzac Day march,” Commander McGannon said.
 
“Brice, John and I have served in the Navy for a combined 91 years, and this is the first time we have had the opportunity to all share Anzac Day with our daughters since they joined,” he said.
 
Midshipman McGannon joined the Navy in February 2014 as a Maritime Warfare Officer. Seaman Hooper joined in October 2014, attending Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria, and Lieutenant Webster completed her medical training through the University of Wollongong and joined the Navy in 2010 through HMAS Creswell, at Jervis Bay.
 
Lieutenant Commander Hooper has been marching in Anzac Day marches wearing his father’s medals since the age of seven.
 
“Ann is third generation military and it’s quite special she made the journey to be with me on such a significant day,” he said.
 
Commodore Brett Brace, the Hydrographer of Australia, delivered an address at the dawn service before leading the Australian Defence Force contingent in the march. The march took the serving sextet past the cenotaph in MacCabe Park, down Burelli Street, finishing at the Arts Precinct.
 
The Australian Hydrographic Office is the Commonwealth Government agency responsible for the production and distribution of official nautical charts and other publications required for the safety of ships navigating in Australian Waters.