Great way to qualify

Published on LEUT Kara Wansbury (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West, Australia

Topic(s): Fleet Base West, HMAS Sheean (S77)

Seaman Communications and Information Systems Bianca van Peperzeel in front of HMAS Rankin at Fleet Base West. (photo: LSIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Seaman Communications and Information Systems Bianca van Peperzeel in front of HMAS Rankin at Fleet Base West.

Bribie Island girl Bianca van Peperzeel, grew up girt by sea and now she sails all seven of them in her career in the Navy as part of the Submarine Force. Recently awarded her 'dolphins', a prestigious qualification reserved for submariners, she has visited India whilst serving onboard HMAS Sheean, a Collins class submarine.

A graduate of Bribie Island State High School, she joined the Navy in 2014 as a Communications and Information Systems sailor and has conducted training at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula as well as her submarine training in Western Australia at HMAS Stirling.

She left the Sunshine Coast seeking a career that was out of the ordinary, where she could take pride in her work and travel. Two things she has experienced in a short time in her Navy career.

"Earning my submarine qualification was a very challenging but exciting journey," she said.
"My training over the past seven months has included submarine and communicator based learning which stood me in good stead for my final examination.

"Long hours of work and continuous study of the submarine was put into my qualification.
"I have been working towards my dolphins since joining the Navy as a direct entry submariner.
"The 18 day transit to India was undoubtedly the most challenging point of my career so far.
"I completed multiple task assessments, system and damage control walkthroughs of the submarine, a written exam and on the 10th September I sat my final board at sea.
"One day out of India I was awarded my qualification and after one year nine months in the Navy it is a great feeling to finally be able to do my job and serve on a Collins class submarine," Seaman van Peperzeel said.

Even though she travels extensively Seaman van Peperzeel often thinks of home.

"I often miss home and the opportunity to see my family regularly.
"Travelling home is now rare but a special occasion to spend time with my loved ones while enjoying my hometown," Seaman van Peperzeel said.

When she returns from her recent deployment Seaman van Peperzeel, based in Western Australia, will travel to Bribie Island and celebrate her achievement with her friends and family and enjoy some of the wonderful Queensland sunshine.