A great career from gap year to Korea for Navy Chef

Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author and photographer)

Location(s): Busan, Republic of Korea

Topic(s): HMAS Diamantina (M86), North East Asia Deployment, Navy Gap Year

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Elise Tabone preparing meals in the galley in HMAS Diamantina. (photo: LEUT Tony Martin)
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Elise Tabone preparing meals in the galley in HMAS Diamantina.

Growing up in Silvan, Victoria, Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Elise Tabone never envisaged a career at sea, but after a positive experience with the Royal Australian Navy Gap Year Scheme the way ahead was clear. 

Nearly four years later Able Seaman Tabone is on her third deployment to Asian waters and is enjoying her second overseas deployment on the minehunter, HMAS Diamantina since joining the ship earlier this year.

“I served in HMAS Adelaide last posting and it has been fun adapting to life in a smaller ship,” Able Seaman Tabone said.

Being one of two chefs on the ship, Able Seaman Tabone has other ancillary tasks, including hazardous chemicals supervisor, Ship’s Medical Emergency Team member and acting as a key enabler for ships morale and well-being. 

“The ship’s chefos have a huge impact on morale and good healthy food goes a long way to keeping a smile on the faces of the crew,” she said.

It is a long way from growing flowers on a farm in Silvan to visiting ports in the Republic of Korea and Japan. The crews of the visiting minehunters are collaborating with Republic of Korea Navy, Japanese Maritime Defense Force and United States Navy personnel during the visits and exercises. 

Working closely with other navies and meeting personnel from the various units engaged during HMAS Diamantina’s North East Asian deployment are notable highlights for Able Seaman Tabone.

“I am enjoying the opportunity to see sights and meet people in these fantastic places, soaking up the culture and really enjoying the local food,” she said.

RAN minehunters, HMA Ships Diamantina and Gascoyne are taking part in the Multinational Mine Countermeasure Symposium and MIWEX 19 in the Republic of Korea as part of a four month North East Asian Deployment.