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Navy work experience opens students’ eyes to defence careers

Six Casuarina Senior College students have gained valuable insight into Defence careers through a hands-on work experience week with the Royal Australian Navy, developed especially for the college.

The year 11 and 12 students learnt from Navy personnel about Navy life and the wide range of career opportunities available in Defence and maritime maintenance. Throughout the week, students were involved in a range of activities; they developed signage for vessels using a laser cutter and computer technology, visited a patrol boat and experienced how it operates at sea, and observed how the Navy moves its vessels from dry dock maintenance to active sea duty.


Before the work experience, student Daniel Thomson said he wasn’t considering a career in Defence. He took part in the experience hoping to "learn new things, meet new people and get an insight into what happens in the Navy".

The students’ work experience opportunity was made possible because of the Navy’s connection with the college through the Top End P-TECH Australia Partnership.

"The experience changed my mind in a positive way, because now I have insight as to what goes on … I learnt about the different types of careers and different skills such as being reliable and respectful," Thomson says.  

Darwin’s Casuarina Senior College is one of the 13 Australian schools – and the only one in the Northern Territory – supported by the Australian government and Skilling Australia Foundation, to take part in the P-TECH Australia pilot.



The aim of the Top End partnership is to enable students to develop relevant STEM and employability skills as well as clearer industry-supported pathways to further study and local employment opportunities in two of the Territory’s growth industries, Energy and Defence Maritime Maintenance.

The Top End partnership focuses on encouraging and supporting young people who are high achievers as well as those from groups under-represented in STEM, such as Indigenous young people, those from disadvantaged backgrounds and women.

Working collaboratively with Casuarina Senior College, industry partners include Norship Marine, Austal, Thales, Territory Generation, NT Power Water Corporation, Energy Club NT, Trace as well as the Royal Australian Navy.

P-TECH Australia industry partners provide students with industry exposure, mentoring, authentic project-based learning (either in the workplace or at school), access to the latest technologies used by industry, work experience and employment opportunities.

The Navy’s national Defence Work Experience Program aligns with the purpose of the P-TECH Australia pilot, and is an ideal example of how industry-education collaboration can benefit local students, industry and community.

Skilling Australia Foundation works in innovative ways to support young Australians facing disadvantage to forge their own career pathways through training and meaningful employment. By collaborating with schools, industry, business, governments and the vocational educational and training sector, Skilling Australia Foundation has helped thousands of young people secure employment, setting them up for a career of their choice. 

Navy work experience opens students’ eyes to defence careers
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