Mother’s sacrifice helps keep aviation sailor at sea

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Geoff Long (author), LSIS Shane Cameron (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01)

Seaman Aviation Support Georgia Bronkhorst holds photos of her two children and mother while standing on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide. (photo: LSIS Shane Cameron)
Seaman Aviation Support Georgia Bronkhorst holds photos of her two children and mother while standing on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide.

When Seaman Aviation Support Georgia Bronkhorst says she has her mother to thank for being able to serve at sea, she’s not exaggerating.

When she moved from Queensland to commence Initial Employment Training at HMAS Albatross in southern NSW, her mother left her own job in Brisbane and uprooted to Nowra to look after Seaman Bronkhorst’s infant son and newborn daughter.

Needless to say, when she continues her Aviation Support training on HMAS Adelaide this Mother’s Day, her thoughts will be on her two children and her supportive mother looking after them.

“My mother knows I love the Navy and how much it means to me to be able to continue my career in the Australian Defence Force, even as a single mother.”

“Without her, her love and the sacrifices she’s made for me and my children, I would not have been able to finish my training and have the opportunity to serve out at sea,” she said.

Seaman Aviation Support Georgia Bronkhorst holds photos of her two children and mother while standing on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide.

Seaman Aviation Support Georgia Bronkhorst holds photos of her two children and mother while standing on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide.

Seaman Bronkhorst grew up in Toowoomba and attended Harristown State High, while also playing soccer for the local St Albans team and enjoying a stint of acting at the Toowoomba Repertory Theatre.

She enlisted in the Navy in 2016 as a 20-year-old, following in the footsteps of family who had served in Defence during the Second World War.

Seaman Bronkhorst is undertaking her Aviation Skilling Course during her posting to Adelaide.

This requires all Aviation sailors who have completed the Basic Aviation Support Course at HMAS Albatross to undertake a 12-month posting to an LHD to complete their training.

Most recently Adelaide has been conducting First of Class Flight Trials off the Queensland coast to determine the safe operating limits of the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopter on the ship in a range of sea states and wind speeds.

She said the trials and training are all part of the variety in her job that she has come to appreciate.

“Working with different aircraft and completing different evolutions such as First of Class Flight Trails, Deck Landing Practice, and training for emergency evolutions means that no two days are ever the same,” Seaman Bronkhorst said.

While she admitted it’s hard to be away from her family, especially during special occasions such as Mother’s Day, she also knows that the family is in safe hands.

“My mother was a single mother and growing up it was just us two. She’s my best friend and Mother’s Day is the day I get to celebrate her and thank her for who she is and all that she’s done for me.”

“I can’t wait to get home and give my mum and my babies a big cuddle!”