Two youths taking part in the Defence Work Experience Program (DWEP) had a taste of life in a patrol boat when they spent the day sailing in HMAS Maitland on September 13.
CAPTION: Commanding Officer HMAS Maitland Lieutenant Commander Julia Griffin shows Kyle Firgula-White and Alex Ryan how to drive the ship. Story by Lieutenant Liam Feenan.
Alex Ryan, Kyle Firgula-White and their supervisors, Petty Officer Danita Charlton and Leeanne Perrett, embarked in Darwin and cruised Darwin Harbour and the Northern Australian Exercise Area.
The DWEP aims to demonstrate the variety of interesting careers available in Defence and the Navy, and to transition students into the workplace while contributing to the development of skills of young Australians.
Throughout the day, the youths spoke with crew members about their roles on board Maitland, their experiences in the Navy and the career options within Defence.
The participants enjoyed a ride in Maitland’s sea boat and observed the firing of her 25mm and 12.7mm weapons.
The participants also had the opportunity to drive Maitland, under the guidance of Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Julia Griffin, and tour the engine space.
Lieutenant Griffin said the work experience program was a great introduction to Defence for young Australians looking for employment options.
“It was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate life at sea on a patrol boat, and demonstrate to the youth participants some of the exciting careers options available in the Royal Australian Navy,” she said.
Both participants and their supervisors thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Kyle said the highlight of the day was the sea boat ride.
Petty Officer Charlton enjoyed the opportunity to highlight Navy life for the DWEP participants.
“The interaction with the students was fantastic and engaging,” Petty Officer Charlton said.
“The DWEP was an extremely positive program for the students for all things RAN – our values and traditions, and the professionalism of our sailors and officers.”