HMAS Hobart mothers celebrate away from home

Operational time at sea can be tough, not only for those serving in Navy but for the families and loved ones back home.

CAPTIONMothers of HMAS Hobart, from left, Petty Officer Amy Peters, Commander Tina Brown and Leading Seaman Rochelle Hambly on the forecastle as the ship conducts a regional presence deployment. Photo by Leading Seaman Matthew Lyall.

Special days such as Mother’s Day highlight the sacrifices Defence members and their families make when these special moments can’t be shared in person.

While on regional presence deployment, the crew of HMAS Hobart put together video messages for their mothers back home – messages of love, thanks and reassurance to mothers who have sacrificed much and contributed in a special way to the defence of Australia.

For members of Hobart’s ship’s company, who themselves are mothers, this year’s Mother’s Day was a special reminder but also a challenge.

Three of these mothers are Commanding Officer HMAS Hobart Commander Tina Brown, Petty Officer Amy Peters and Leading Seaman Rochelle Hambly.

Leading Seaman Hambly said that this Mother’s Day she missed her two beautiful children the most.

“We have a tradition where we cook pancakes together in the morning, dance around to music, and they give me the gifts they’ve made at school/preschool,” she said.

“My daughter also loves to dress me up and do my make-up every Mother’s Day, which is always so sweet.”

In her role as Commanding Officer, Commander Brown has a lot on her plate, but not a day goes by when she doesn’t turn her mind to her family back home in Australia.

“Whether you are a mum or a dad, I think there are two occasions where it is particularly hard to be at sea and away from your kids,” she said.

“One such occasion is when they’re sick, hurt or having a tough time themselves. My feelings of helplessness in these situations can be very hard to shake. The other occasion is missing milestones. Last year, I missed my daughter’s first ever day of school, and only today I missed my son’s first soccer goal.”

The ship’s clinical manager and mother of two, Petty Officer Peters, summed it up well.

“The thing I am looking forward to the most when I return is being able to read the boys a bedtime story and tuck them into bed of a night with loads of hugs and kisses,” she said.

All three mothers are really looking forward to Hobart’s return where many hugs are sure to be shared.


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