Still delivering Navy's future workforce

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ben Willee (author), LSIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus

Topic(s): Recruit School, Emms Division, Graduation

Members of General Entry 385 Emms Division standing 'at attention' during their Graduation Parade held at Recruit School of HMAS Cerberus, Victoria. (photo: LSIS Bonny Gassner)
Members of General Entry 385 Emms Division standing 'at attention' during their Graduation Parade held at Recruit School of HMAS Cerberus, Victoria.

A further 123 Sailors from General Entry Class 385 Emms Division have graduated 11 Weeks initial training at HMAS Cerberus under a strict COVID-19 cohort-distanced training environment.

The Royal Australian Navy Recruit School has been an integral part of HMAS Cerberus for 95 Years and has trained sailors of the Australian Navy over two World Wars, in times of peace, other conflicts, for peace-keeping and now during a global pandemic.

Among the graduates was Seaman Star Aviation Technician Aircraft Michelle Grabianski who was inspired after watching Navy aircraft during Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST.  

“We were in South Nowra and had to evacuate after the fire came within two kilometres. It was a lot to deal with,” Seaman Star Grabianski said.

“I hope one day soon, to be working on the aircraft they used to assist with Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST.”

The 39 women and 84 men graduated after undertaking initial training designed to provide them with the skills that will prepare them for an exciting career.

Commenting on her 11 weeks of initial training Seaman Star Grabianski said she feels proud of her her achievements.

“I came to learn new skills and build on the ones I already had. The hardest challenge was trying to take in all the information in a short time.” 

“I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I like to get everything right first time.” 

“I also didn’t think I would make so many friends in such a short period of time and it now feels like everyone will be friends for life,” she said.

General Entry 385 Emms Division celebrate on completion of their Graduation Ceremony held at Recruit School of HMAS Cerberus, Victoria.

General Entry 385 Emms Division celebrate on completion of their Graduation Ceremony held at Recruit School of HMAS Cerberus, Victoria.

Emms Division is named in honour of Leading Seaman Francis Bassett ‘Dick’ Emms, who was posthumously mentioned in dispatches ‘For courage and devotion to duty in HMAS Kara Kara during an enemy air raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942’.

Commanding Officer of Recruit Training School, Commander Cindy Jenkins welcomed the family and friends watching via live steam and inspired the graduates;

“To the families and friends of the graduating Recruits, we are delighted to share this important milestone with you, wherever you may be watching from,” Commander Jenkins said.

“A graduation parade is a significant moment in every sailor’s career, and one I know these Recruits will never forget.

“The class of General Entry 385 joined the Navy on the 27th of July 2020, the journey they commenced on that day has had its ups and downs. But they have met our expectations for fitness, learning, discipline, teamwork and attitude and they have done so in the most challenging of circumstances, as evidenced by their masked faces on parade today.”

“They arrived as civilians, and today they become sailors in the Royal Australian Navy.”

The next step in the Navy journey for the graduating sailors will be career specific category training at either at HMAS Cerberus or another defence establishment in Australia.

Imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery at https://images.defence.gov.au/S20203174.

For further information on careers in the Royal Australian Navy, visit https://navy.defencejobs.gov.au.