A group of young Australians were given the VIP treatment recently when they participated in the National Submarine Competition Tour and Immersion Experience at Fleet Base West.
The competition, which was open to people aged between the ages of 18 and 35, saw more than 1,800 Australians compete for the chance to see what it takes to be a submariner.
Competition winners, who came from every state and territory in Australia, spent two days at Fleet Base West undertaking various activities and tours, all of which were designed to give them the best possible insight into a naval career.
Commander Cath Hayes from the submarine recruitment team said an enduring and potent submarine capability was a cornerstone of Navy’s national security role.
"This capability is currently provided by Navy’s six Collins Class submarines and the approximately 850 officers and sailors who serve in them. With the introduction of the future Attack Class submarines, this number will need to increase steadily over the coming years," CMDR Hayes explained.
This was reinforced by successful competition winners, including Brisbane local Bailey Nugent, who said, "I’m currently studying engineering at university and it just seems that the Australian Defence Force, and the Navy in particular, is more hands-on and offers greater opportunities than are available in the civilian world."
Apprentice chef Caitlin Parmiter from Moonta, South Australia said she relished the chance to speak to serving chefs and learn about their experience as a Navy submariner.
"After being a Naval Cadet when I was younger, I’ve always been interested in a career in the Navy, and I’ve already applied to become a chef," Parmiter said.
Chantelle O’Donohoe from Redfern, NSW, works at Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) teaching technology skills to Aboriginal communities.
O’Donohoe said she entered the competition as a way of widening the career choices of IDX students.
"I was already very familiar with the options available in the Air Force and the Army, but I hadn’t actually had the chance to get to know about the Navy," she said.
As well as participating in a submarine tour, competition winners were also shown around various training facilities located at Fleet Base West, including the Submarine Training Systems Centre and the Weapons Training Simulation System.
The group also participated in various team-building and leadership exercises throughout the day.