Served 31 years.
Commodore, Chief Naval Engineer.
Medals and citations: Australian Service Medal for recognition of two deployments to the Middle East.
Primary job: Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer specialising in engineering and program management
“Serving in the Navy is a terrible job but a great life and that’s the way you should approach it”
Best advice/skill received: Leadership and how to get the best from your team.
What do you want people to remember about your service? To be competent and fair.
What was the best and worst 'military' food you were served, and why? Naval food was usually very good, as the cooks and their customers are “all in the same boat”.
What effect did your military experience have on your life? Shaped my values, leadership and approach that has served me well through life.
Funny recollection during time of service:
Serving in HMAS PERTH in 1986 with the then Commander Graham Sloper as Commanding Officer. On a very hot Sunday while on passage to the Middle East we stopped in the South China Sea for ‘Hands to Bathe’ where the crew jump over the side and cool off in the ocean.
The Officer of the Watch who had control of the ship at the time was a young Canadian officer on exchange with the RAN. Graham told him he looked a bit hot and could do with a swim so he picked him up, moved to the bridge wing and dropped him over the side into the water.
When the young officer hit the water with a great splash, Graham announced “I have the ship” the traditional announcement when an officer takes over control of the ship from another. This put a whole new meaning of being “thrown off the bridge”.