HMAS Anzac enjoys cultural exchange in Philippines

Navy personnel from Australia and the Philippines deepened their people-to-people linkages and cultural understanding during the shore phase of Exercise Lumbas.

CAPTIONHMAS Anzac officer Lieutenant Charlotte Rice performs with the Philippine Navy band during the Exercise Lumbas official reception on board BRP Tarlac in Subic Bay, Philippines. Story by Lieutenant Max Logan. All photos by Leading Seaman Jarryd Capper.

Part of HMAS Anzac’s regional presence deployment, the shore phase kicked off in Subic Bay with a visit by Flag Officer-in-Command of the Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci, who enjoyed a tour of the ship run by Anzac’s command team.

In the evening, Anzac personnel attended an official reception on board BRP Tarlac, which included friendly engagement, music, dancing and cultural displays.

CAPTIONHMAS Anzac sailor Able Seaman Joshua Daw conducts a smoking ceremony during the Exercise Lumbas official reception on board BRP Tarlac.

Able Seaman Maritime Personnel Operator Joshua Daw, a Nyoongar man from Wadjuk country (Perth region), performed a smoking ceremony for attendees.

Able Seaman Daw gained permission from his grandmother Gail to perform the ceremony, and delivered a variation of her speech in segments of Nyoongar followed by an English translation.

“I was nervous and very excited – this was my first time conducting a smoking ceremony as more than just a participant, let alone outside of Australia,” he said.

“I offered the acknowledgement to country after opening remarks from Commanding Officer Anzac and the Philippine Navy Commanding Officer and then invited guests forward to partake in the ceremony.

“I feel very privileged to be able to represent my mob so far from home. Being able to share my culture and have it so well received was a very spiritual and humbling experience.

“As a Nyoongar man, our family stretches all the way to Albany (Minang country). The significance of Albany being Anzac’s ceremonial home port makes serving in this ship specifically a real privilege for me.”

Able Seaman Daw is one of three Indigenous sailors on board Anzac, all of whom graduated from ADF Indigenous recruiting programs.

Electronics technician Leading Seaman Brendon Crouch experienced his first port visit in the Philippines, after a previous trip with Navy was restricted by the pandemic.

“It was a really good experience to go onto a Philippines naval vessel to partake in the opening ceremony. The food and catering was absolutely incredible,” Leading Seaman Crouch said.

“The best moment of the night was when personnel from both countries were all on the dancefloor dancing to AC/DC. It was a great moment of fellow mariners from two nations enjoying themselves together before the sea phase of Lumbas began.

“I also had many good conversations with Philippine Navy personnel at the opening ceremony. I could tell they were passionate about their jobs and what the exercise meant to them.”

The shore phase of Lumbas also included a tour on board Anzac for Philippines Navy personnel and friendly sporting matches before the ships departed Subic Bay for combined activities at sea in warfare, seamanship and maritime security.

CAPTIONHMAS Anzac officer Lieutenant Commander Matthew Green conducts a tour of HMAS Anzac for Philippine Navy personnel during the shore phase of Exercise LUMBAS.


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