For Commander Cindy Jenkins, serving in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has cemented a family connection with Defence and revealed a strong link to Legacy.
CAPTION: Commander Cindy Jenkins, left, during her stint as a torch bearer in the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay, to recognise 100 years of the Legacy Promise. Story by Captain Kristen Daisy Cleland. Photo by Callum Smith.
In January 1998, Commander Jenkins joined as a warfare officer in Derby, Western Australia – a small town in the north-west of the country.
During the pandemic, she was in command of the RAN Recruit School in Victoria and is currently the Commanding Officer of HMAS Supply.
Both Commander Jenkins and her younger sister, who is serving as a maritime warfare officer in HMAS Adelaide, were encouraged by their family to join the Navy.
“Around 10 years ago, I had just raised some funds for Legacy and I posted on my social media about it,” Commander Jenkins said.
“My uncle commented on the post, telling me that my ancestor established Legacy. I always knew I was from the Savige family, and looking into it, I found out my great-grandmother’s cousin was Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Savige, founder of Legacy.”
When the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay came on board Supply for a photo opportunity and tour, Commander Jenkins mentioned her relationship to Lieutenant General Savige.
“I was honoured to be given the opportunity to carry the torch in the relay in Sydney on July 23,” Commander Jenkins said.
“Making it even more special, I was able to connect with the next torch bearer with HMAS Supplyin the background.”
Commander Jenkins said it is humbling to know her ancestor established something that has helped veterans’ families for so long.
“The idea of Legacy came from soldiers during World War 1 promising to look after their dying mates’ families, and to see that still going a hundred years on is a beautiful reflection of Australian mateship,” Commander Jenkins said.
Through her command position, Commander Jenkins has seen the sacrifice sailors and their families make in order to serve their country – in particular, the long periods spent away from loved ones.
“The Legacy Centenary is a good reminder of how much we’re supported. If something went terribly wrong, there’s a whole organisation that can support our families. It’s just so important.”
Commander Jenkins said she has looked at becoming a Legatee when her career allows it, but until then she will continue to provide support to the sailors and their families under her command – and continue to rattle the tins.