Defence families usually wave from the wharf as loved ones sail away, but this time they had the opportunity to jump on board for a taste of ship life on a voyage to Eden, NSW.
CAPTION: Family and friends of HMAS Adelaide ship’s company sail through Sydney Harbour, the start of a families voyage to Eden, NSW. Story by Esmarie Fulton. Photos by Leading Seaman Abdus Chowdhury.
HMAS Adelaide recently welcomed family members on a unique three-day immersive experience.
The adventure was packed with activities including trivia, ship tours, bingo and even personal training sessions from instructors on board.
Chef-produced delicacies became crowd favourites, even among the kids, as mealtimes were spent sharing stories of multi-generational time served in Defence.
CAPTION: Family and friends of HMAS Adelaide ship’s company enjoy a family voyage to Eden.
David Adams, father of physical training instructor Chief Petty Officer Steven Adams, said it was a fantastic opportunity to see the next generation at work.
“I’m here with my son who’s served in the Navy for 30 years’,” Mr Adams said.
“I took him on a Navy family experience like this back in 1985 and served for 39.5 years myself. I could not be prouder seeing how far he has come.”
The light vehicle deck provided ample room for kids to play handball and test out gym equipment as they connected with other children of serving members.
The adventure branched out to shore when families stopped in the small coastal town of Eden after embarking in Sydney.
There, everyone explored local sights such as Eden’s Whale Museum or sipped on a coffee from one of the town’s family-owned cafes.
Eden is close to the heart of many Navy people, with ships regularly visiting Two-Fold Bay and having assisted the local community through disasters including the Black Summer bushfires.
CAPTION: Families and friends of ship’s company of HMAS Adelaide step on an LHD Landing Craft to return to onboard the ship after spending a day in Eden.
Commanding Officer HMAS Adelaide Captain Troy Duggan spoke of the importance of families and being able to recognise that service through this experience.
“Families are the heartbeat of Navy; without their support we simply cannot do our jobs,” Captain Duggan said.
“There’s been a real buzz amongst the crew leading up to this and we hope family members and friends leave here with a better understanding of what we do.”
The whole experience gave families a chance to learn about the benefits available to them, including Defence Member and Family support (DMFS).
As HMAS Adelaide returned to Sydney Harbour, the trip concluded with families witnessing their loved ones receive awards and commendations from outstanding performance to long-service medals.
CAPTION: Families and friends of ship’s company of HMAS Adelaide travel on an LHD Landing Craft to return to onboard the ship after spending a day in Eden.