This is Sirius, Mum!

Published on ABCIS Bonnie Foster (author), ABET Luke van Beekhuizen (author)

Location(s): Rockingham

Mrs Deanne Newman, Lieutenant Elizabeth Newman, Mrs Allison Foster, Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems Bonnie Foster, Mrs Virginia Oakley and Lieutenant Sonia Clark onboard HMAS Sirius during Families Week.
 (photo: ABET Luke van Beekhuizen)
Mrs Deanne Newman, Lieutenant Elizabeth Newman, Mrs Allison Foster, Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems Bonnie Foster, Mrs Virginia Oakley and Lieutenant Sonia Clark onboard HMAS Sirius during Families Week.

Families of the ship's company of HMAS Sirius were given an insight into the working lives of their loved ones when they joined the replenishment ship on the final leg of a seven-week deployment, sailing from Adelaide to Rockingham, Western Australia.

Lieutenants Sonia Clark and Libby Newman, and Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems Bonnie Foster used the opportunity as an early Mother's Day gift.

However, it was a tough introduction to life at sea for the mums Virginia Oakley, Deanne Newman and Allison Foster.

"It's been the best week of my life and I'm so proud to see all my daughter has achieved," said Mrs Oakley, Lieutenant Clark's mother.

Bad weather, rough seas and early morning watchkeeping duties kept the women awake for much of the trip across the Great Australian Bight but failed to dampen their enthusiasm.

"It was impressive to observe the courtesy and teamwork the girls displayed living in close quarters, coming and going throughout the night with minimal disturbance," Mrs Newman said.

The hosts made the most of the five-day transit by ensuring their mothers experienced every aspect of their jobs, relishing the rare opportunity to share their lives at sea with the women who mean the most to them.

As the ship berthed in its home port of Fleet Base West, the mothers all said how proud they were of their daughters.

"This week has gone fast! I don't want it to be over yet," said Mrs Foster