Tinkering drives Navy career

Growing up on a farm outside the regional NSW town of Trangie, Able Seaman Maddison Hohnberg would spend hours tinkering with farm machinery and trying to understand how things work.

CAPTION: Able Seaman Maddie Hohnberg conducts maintenance on HMAS Warramunga’s gas turbine. Story by Lieutenant Geoff Long. Photo by Petty Officer Yuri Ramsey.

That tinkering and curiosity now serves her well in her role as a propulsion maintainer in HMAS Warramunga, specialising in diesel mechanics.

The Anzac-class frigate is currently on a regional presence deployment to South-East and north-east Asia with HMA Ships Ballarat and Brisbane.

Able Seaman Hohnberg is part of the team responsible for maintaining the ship’s two propulsion diesel engines, four diesel generators and gas turbine.

She said her early life on the farm was a perfect foundation to become a marine technician.

“Growing up on a farm and having three brothers and a father who worked every day on the farm, I was always outside tinkering with things and seeing how they worked,” Able Seaman Hohnberg said.

“Now, as a Navy marine technician, I’m also constantly learning new things.

“There always seems to be something you can expand your knowledge on and learn the inner workings of.”

The former Bathurst Scots School student is the first in her family to serve in the ADF and, after five years of service, she said it was the right decision.

As well as her role as a marine technician, Able Seaman Hohnberg likes the other jobs she gets to do at sea, including being part of the ship’s diving team.

However, the highlight of this deployment has been teaming up with the other female sailors on the ship.

“Being a member of a busy department can sometimes pull you away from those whole-of-ship activities, so when I get the chance, I jump at cleaning or garbage-sorting,” she said.

“It may sound trivial, but when you have a great group of girls, those little activities are really fun.”

Warramunga will return to its home port of Fleet Base West in Western Australia later this year.





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