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Navy provides sea of adventure, careers and life opportunities by Marcus Priaulx 4 September 2013


etty Officer Sam Sheppard wakes every day with a smile on his face. He just loves being in the Royal Australian Navy. The former Mareeba boy graduated from his high school with an ambition to serve firmly instilled within him from a young age. His uncles and aunties would visit his home dressed in their air force uniforms and Petty Officer Sheppard loved the lifestyle he thought the armed services could provide. At age 18 he tried to join the ranks of his relatives, only to find the air force wasn’t recruiting at the time. So he looked to the seas and hasn’t looked back. As a navy man, Petty Officer Sheppard enjoys the teamwork, mateship, a feeling he can’t explain when he’s in the open seas, travelling to exotic locations and around Australia, it’s the actual work itself, and a healthy wage. Petty Officer Sheppard, 32, is a communications and information systems supervisor who provides the link between all those on board a ship, other sea craft and on land bases. It’s a complex job involving satellites, radios, Morse code, flags and computers. But Petty Officer Sheppard said there’s virtually every job going in the navy, army or air force when he addressed a dozen potential recruits at Cherbourg on August 15. He told them they could join the army in some roles if they had a Year-9 pass; Year-10 and above could open up most jobs across the navy, army, and air force, while

Front: Australian Defence Force applicants Justin Bond, 32, and Aaron Hegarty, 22 are pictured with Australian Navy Indigenous Recruitment team’s Petty Officer Sam Sheppard; Back: Petty Officer Glen Hall and Employment Services Queensland’s Anna Hanson. Image supplied

good tertiary entry results could have them attend the Australian Defence Force (ADF)Academy and become an officer. Petty Officer Sheppard said people could always further their education or learn a trade while serving in the Australian Defence Force because it helped people to reach their life goals. “The lifestyle is great, the pay’s good and there’s always a job to be

had,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine my life without being in the navy. “Joining was the best thing I could’ve done.” Justin said he applied to join after the Petty Officers’ visit because he had no work and life had become boring. “I need a sea change; literally,” he said. “I want to contribute something.” Aaron applied because he wanted Page 1

Australian Navy Petty Officers Sam Sheppard and Glen Hall’s love of their job rubbed off on Cherbourg people, Three called their recruitment office on 131901 before the officers left Cherbourg on August 15.

a sense of purpose in life. “I can see myself being an officer in the infantry,” he said. “I look forward to it.” The men undertook their initial testing session on Wednesday September 4. Petty Officer Glen Hall joined the Royal Australian Navy to escape school and has lived a life of well-paid adventure ever since. The former Sydney boy signedup after the Australian Defence Force recruitment team visited his Newtown high school when he was 15 years old. But while Petty Officer Hall escaped the classroom he found himself doing schoolwork and onthe-job training in the navy’s junior recruitment program. All of sudden, learning became fun because Petty Officer Hall, now 53, could see a reason for doing it. Two years later he was travelling to Hawaii and Asian ports by ship. At age 19 Petty Officer Hall joined the submarines as a marine Page 2

technician who keeps the engines running. “You had to know your job and do it well,” he said. “Many lives depended on you.” He found the work exciting, stimulating and personally rewarding. “It gives you a high self-esteem being part of something important,” Petty Officer Hall said. After 21 years of service his young family had him leave the navy. He stayed in the naval reserves and worked for various government organisations as a health worker. Petty Officer Hall then rejoined six weeks before visiting Cherbourg with the Naval recruitment team on August 15. Before he left with fellow Petty Officer Sam Sheppard, three of the people they addressed at Employment Services Queensland had made the phone call needed to join either the navy, army or air force.

Neither Petty Officer thought any of the trio would regret it if they took the next step to actually join. “It’s a fantastic career and provides a terrific life,” Petty Officer Hall said, before reminding school goers they would have many more career options within the Services or other areas if they stayed in class. “A good education gives you more opportunities in life; be that in the navy or elsewhere,” Petty Officer Hall said. “The navy has a high regard for education. “It allowed me to study for a trade and will support people with further training to allow them to reach their personal and professional goals, no matter what they are.” People interested in joining the Navy, Army, or Air force can phone 131901 or apply online at

Navy provides sea of adventure, careers and life opportunities  

Petty Officer Sam Sheppard wakes every day with a smile on his face. He just loves being in the Royal Australian Navy. The former Mareeba bo...