Program allows teenagers to get their sea legs ( admin posted on June 14th, 2018 )

LOCAL high school students are being given the chance to experience navy life through an innovative program staged at HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell.
Nanjing Night Net

Part of the Navy Domestic Engagement program, it is open to all nine high schools in the Shoalhaven, with students in years 9, 10 and 11 undertaking a variety of activities during the three-year course.

The Navy Domestic Engagement program has also hosted 22 school visits in the past year.

Chief Petty Officer Annie Schofield of HMAS Albatross said the program had proved extremely successful with about 380 students undertaking courses this year.

“The program is open to each of the local high schools, and we have had students from public high schools, Bomaderry, Nowra, Shoalhaven, Vincentia, Ulladulla as well as non-government schools Nowra Anglican College, St John’s Catholic, Nowra Christian School and Shoalhaven Anglican College,” she said.

“The different courses are designed to provide a navy-wide experience and show the kids what careers are available.”

The course caters for 19 students from each school’s year 9 and 14 from both years 10 and 11.

In year 9 the students visit HMAS Albatross and explore the many different career options available.

Students spend one day a month for 10 months at the base.

In year 10 the course is based at HMAS Creswell, focusing on teamwork and leadership.

Students undertake a variety of activities from climbing the rock wall, to tackling the obstacle course which is located above the pool in the gymnasium as well as other teamwork activities.

They undertake five different events during the course of the year.

Year 11 students undertake sail training from the Defence Maritime Services at HMAS Creswell.

They have time on the water on the base’s training vessels and are taught how to rig and sail the yachts.

“The whole idea of the course is to provide the students with information on what is available from a career in the navy,” CPO Schofield said.

“The main aim of the schools program is to encourage kids who are interested in a career path in the navy and to help them to pursue it.

“At the end of the three years the students who successfully complete all three courses are presented with a certificate of attendance from Navy Domestic Engagement staff.”

The programs are starting to bear fruit, with former Shoalhaven High student Joel Bulley graduating from officer training at HMAS Creswell.

The 18-year-old is now undertaking his initial single service training at HMAS Albatross before starting his aeronautical engineering degree at ADFA in the New Year.

WATER WORKS: Nowra High year 11 students hit the water of Jervis Bay onboard one of HMAS Creswell’s training vessels.

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