Being resilient a key focus for Navy members

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, New South Wales

Topic(s): Plan Pelorus, HMAS Canberra (L02)

Able Seaman Marine Technician Madelaine Woolmer in the forward main engine room onboard HMAS Canberra.  (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
Able Seaman Marine Technician Madelaine Woolmer in the forward main engine room onboard HMAS Canberra.

High tempo deployments can be difficult at times, but HMAS Canberra's Able Seaman Marine Technician Madeleine Woolmer is among a growing number of sailors who has found a new source of inspiration to improve their resilience.
 
Launched last April, as a key aspect of Plan Pelorus (Navy’s strategy until 2018 and beyond) as well as the Navy’s Warfighting Strategy and the ‘Fit to Fight’ program, the Navy Resilience Plan is designed to assist both members and teams in coping with adversity. 
  
Able Seaman Woolmer agrees Canberra’s recent deployment has tested all four elements of her wellbeing.
 
“Having the ability to talk to my family and friends via Wi-Fi and email while at sea has helped me to provide a support network to maintain a healthy state of mind," she said.
 
“Physical training classes, readily available gym equipment and being able to participate in Navy sporting activities have helped us all maintain the physical side of things.”
 
Having a support network is also critical on long voyages and Able Seaman Woolmer has found the support offered by the services another source of comfort.

“Navy offers a wide number of people to talk to,” Able Seaman Woolmer said.

“Out of work activities and discussion groups, such as Faith Under Fire, have all been important to me."

“I think all of these things help me cope in times of high stress or pressure.”

The Navy Resilience Plan defines resilience as ‘the capacity to adapt successfully in the presence of risk and adversity’and aims to produce resilient Navy members who are self aware and can adapt, using strategies and activities under mental, moral, physical and external factors.