Sailor excited by sea of opportunities

An interest in travel and life at sea led Midshipman Sofia Dakin, from Queensland’s Gold Coast, to do an ADF Gap Year placement with the Navy.

CAPTIONGap Year Midshipman Sophia Dakin enjoys some down time on board HMAS Choules during Exercise Malabar. Story by Lieutenant Jonathan Wills. Photo by Leading Seaman David Cox.

After four months at the world-class RAN College at HMAS Creswell, she and 22 other Gap Year trainees completed a month-long tour of Navy bases around Australia to demonstrate some of the career options on offer.

The experience included 10 days on board HMAS Choules, an amphibious landing ship dock involved in Exercise Malabar off the NSW coast.

“The gap year has been great so far and given us lots of unique experiences and a good idea of what it would be like to have a career in the Navy,” Midshipman Dakin said.

“Where else could you be doing flood control practice one day and observing an international exercise from the bridge of a warship the next?

“Watching the sunrise as you smash out a personal training circuit on the flight deck of a mighty warship has definitely been one of my highlights while in HMAS Choules.”

Exercise Malabar was conducted alongside three of Australia’s Indo-Pacific partner nations – India, Japan and the United States.

“It was really good to see how our Navy works with other navies in the region. We were able to meet crew members from other navies and see how our ships and aircraft work together at sea,” she said.

The ADF Gap Year program offers an exciting 12 months in the Navy, where participants get paid for meaningful work while travelling around Australia, gaining skills for life and making new friends.

Applicants must be aged 18-24 at the point of completing initial training, and have completed year 12 with passes required of their selected role.


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