A video on YouTube inspired a former tool-maker to join the Navy as a marine technician.
CAPTION: Able Seaman Avin Kulathum Meethal checks engine oil levels in the machinery space on board HMAS Ballarat during a Regional Presence Deployment. Story by Lieutenant Gary McHugh. Photo by Leading Seaman Ernesto Sanchez.
Able Seaman Avin Kulathum Meethal migrated to Adelaide from the Indian state of Kerala nine years ago.
“I was already a qualified tool-maker when I arrived in Australia but I was looking for something more challenging – that’s when I saw the YouTube video and applied to join the Navy,” Able Seaman Kulathum Meethal said.
He successfully applied and is undergoing consolidation training in HMAS Ballarat.
“As a marine technician, it’s my job to look after the engineering systems throughout the ship, but as I’m still under training there’s still a lot for me to learn,” he said.
“I really enjoy the challenge of my job and each day there’s something new to learn.”
Able Seaman Kulathum Meethal doesn’t have any family in Australia and he said COVID-19 had made it difficult to visit his parents and sister in India.
“I was meant to go to India to visit my family last year but because of COVID-19 I had to postpone that trip,” he said.
He said he hoped to make that visit sometime in the future, but in the meantime he had close friends in Australia as well as his shipmates.
Ballarat is two months into a Regional Presence Deployment, during which the ship has worked with a number of partner navies to underscore Australia’s commitment to a secure, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
Because of the global pandemic, Ballarat is only conducting essential logistics visits while deployed, and all resupply evolutions are being carried out in accordance with strict COVID-19 mitigation methods.