Our Values: Courage

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Danielle Brodie (author), LSIS Leo Baumgartner (photographer)

Topic(s): Values and Behaviours

Our Values: Courage (photo: )
Our Values: Courage

For the hundreds of Royal Australian Navy personnel posted around the world, updating Our Values and Behaviours has provided new focus to meet the ongoing challenges of serving Australia both at home and abroad.

Announced on 1 October 2020, our values are Service, Courage, Respect, Integrity, and Excellence. They are a modern reflection of the core qualities of character that are desirable in all Navy people.

Courage is the strength of character to say and do the right thing, always, especially in the face of adversity.

Sailing from your home port to return four months later in the midst of a global pandemic may seem like something out of a science fiction film, but for the 190 Officers and Sailors of HMAS Parramatta, this was the reality of their recent South East Asian deployment.

Departing Sydney’s Garden Island in February, Parramatta was programmed to visit India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, in addition to participating in several major military exercises.

Following the spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent global pandemic, the ship’s program changed significantly, presenting ship’s company with unprecedented challenges during this extraordinary deployment.

Commanding Officer HMAS Parramatta, Commander Anita Nemarich said that she was immensely proud of the courage and fortitude shown by every member of ship’s company during the deployment.

“Everyone onboard was affected in some way. Many were concerned about their families back home, especially those who had family members working in the health industry.

“We made sure we kept in close contact with our families to reassure them that we were safe, and to make sure everything was ok at home,” Commander Nemarich said.

“The deployment was like none we had ever experienced, and the crew stepped up to the challenge with everything they had.

“Every member of Parramatta should be very proud of their efforts,” she said.

One Junior Officer onboard Parramatta seized the opportunity to strengthen the courage being demonstrated by the ship’s company dealing with both, the rapidly changing program and their concern for loved ones back home, by generating a series of Junior Sailor Leadership Forums targeted at building confidence in their leadership.

“I knew we were embarking on a challenging deployment and wanted to help build resilience and a sense of collective ownership amongst our junior leaders,” Lieutenant Sarah Lucinsky said.

“It takes courage to do something you find difficult, but recognising the greater purpose for doing it is important. It may make you nervous or uncomfortable at first but no one ever said leadership and service was easy,” Lieutenant Lucinsky said.

Each week the forum focused on a different topic, and was facilitated by a Junior Sailor. Aiding in preparation, Lieutenant Lucinsky provided coaching for running the discussions, framing the topic and scoping questions.

Themes were broadly based on leadership and included topics such as leading your peers, the anatomy of leadership, and leadership in adverse conditions.

“A standout moment for me was observing three Leading Seaman from different departments join forces to actively guide and mentor other sailors on the ship as a direct result of them running the forum,” Lieutenant Lucinsky said.

“I witnessed other sailors regularly seeking them out for advice, creating a positive culture for conflict resolution and a support network through active cognitive thinking and self-awareness,” she said.

“The phrase “everyone is a leader” is often used, but I personally want that to be more than just a phrase.

“Our junior leaders are incredibly intelligent and capable, so creating opportunities for junior members to showcase their abilities and to bolster opportunities to step up is vital for success,” she said.