Petty Officer Aviation Technician Aircraft Greg Hodgson is a happy man. He has a secure and interesting job with the Royal Australian Navy, a family he loves and he lives in one of the most beautiful spots in the world.
“Jervis Bay has the pinnacle of all beaches. I have been to Hawaii and when I looked around I thought, wow, but it’s not quite Jervis Bay. Waikiki has all the glittery shops but just isn’t Jervis Bay,” he said.
Petty Officer Hodgson, has lived in the Shoalhaven Shire for almost 50 years, home of the Navy's Fleet Air Arm.
The 53 year old is part of the HMAS Adelaide crew which recently conducted humanitarian aid and disaster relief training in Jervis Bay.
His role is to manage the aviation facilities onboard in support of the new MRH-90 helicopters, some of the most sophisticated military aircraft in the world.
Petty Officer Hodgson joined the Navy later in life, at 34, after working two jobs to pay off a mortgage and support his family.
The ‘Birdie’, as members of the Aviation branch are known in the Navy, says he wishes he had made the career change earlier.
“Navy is a great career choice. In one word; security,” Petty Officer Hodgson said.
“It has been an adventure. You don’t know what you are walking into when you turn up for work that day. It could be, Greg, pack your bags you’re off to the Solomon Islands.”
Petty Officer Hodgson is about as local as you can find in the Shoalhaven.
He moved to St George’s Basin with his family in 1969 and his mother still lives in their first family home.
His wife, Julie, has been the manager of Bombaderry Newsagency for 20 years.
“She loves it; loves selling newspapers to little old ladies.”
His two sons Mitchell, 20, and Tim, 18, work locally also.
Petty Officer Hodgson said his favourite place to be on a weekend is with his family fishing or surfing at either Gerroa or Murray’s Beach.
“I love the area and I am proud to represent the Shoalhaven community onboard HMAS Adelaide,” he said.