Learning while lending a helping hand

Published on MIDN Anna Roberts (author), ABIS Daniel Goodman (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Navy Gap Year

L-R: Midshipman Laura Caspersonn; Seaman Riley Duncan; Seaman Ella McCarthy-Grigg; Seaman Will Scott; Seaman Odin Brown; Midshipman Lane Wilson; Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Chef Natalie Robinson; Seaman Jack Eastwood; Midshipman Declan Conaghty; Midshipman Anna Roberts; and Seaman Olivia Alves in the galley onboard HMAS Adelaide during Exercise SEA WADER 2020. (photo: ABIS Daniel Goodman)
L-R: Midshipman Laura Caspersonn; Seaman Riley Duncan; Seaman Ella McCarthy-Grigg; Seaman Will Scott; Seaman Odin Brown; Midshipman Lane Wilson; Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Chef Natalie Robinson; Seaman Jack Eastwood; Midshipman Declan Conaghty; Midshipman Anna Roberts; and Seaman Olivia Alves in the galley onboard HMAS Adelaide during Exercise SEA WADER 2020.

Helping feed 480 people multiple meals each day onboard the Royal Australian Navy’s largest ship is creating a memorable first time at sea for 10 Gap Year Sailors and Officers.

The group has been lending a hand in the galley of HMAS Adelaide, as it conducts amphibious training off the coast of Townsville, Queensland.

This is the first experience at sea for the Gap Year Sailors and Officers, where they will be assisting in the galley but also have some exposure to all parts of the ship and its operations.

Over the course of four weeks, they will continue to work side by side Adelaide’s chefs. Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Chef Shaun Taylor has been so far impressed by their diligent work ethic and willingness to learn. 

“They have been keeping very busy and are a great addition to our galley. They are always offering to help, whether it be serving, cooking, prepping or cleaning,” he said.

Two members have also had the opportunity to experience the routine of night chefs, assisting in baking bread, making beloved duff (dessert), serving ‘mid-nighters’ and cooking breakfast.

The Gap Year Midshipmen in the group are all aspiring Maritime Logistic Officers and have found the chance to understand the functions of a Maritime Logistics sub-department very rewarding.

“It’s been great to spend time with the Chefs and see how their different watches work. It also means in the future, as a Maritime Logistic Officer, I will have a greater appreciation for how much work goes into feeding a ship’s company and serving four meals a day,” said Midshipman Wilson.

The four Midshipmen have also been rotating through the role of storesperson, which has provided them with an understanding of stores, stock rotation, menu planning and the requirements of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.

Outside the galley, the group have been fully integrated into the ship’s routine, including daily PT, departmental sports and formal rounds. They have also had the chance to visit flight command, the bridge, machinery compartments and medical facilities.

For Seaman Gap Year Olivia Alves, a ride in one of Adelaide’s Light Landing Craft was her favourite experience.

“It was incredible to look back at the ship from across the water,” she said.

Between working in the galley and receiving exposure to other departments, the group’s overall experience on board Adelaide will undoubtedly be a highlight of their Gap Year.

For many it has also confirmed their desire to continue a career in the Navy and get back to sea as soon as possible.

Further information on the ADF Gap Year Program can be found at:
https://www.defencejobs.gov.au/students-and-education/gap-year/.