Gap year sailors help cook up a storm

Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Chef Natalie Robinson, centre, with the gap year sailors and officers in the galley on board HMAS Adelaide during Exercise Sea Wader. Photo: Able Seaman Daniel Goodman

Gap year sailors help cook up a storm

Helping to prepare multiple meals each day to feed 480 personnel on board the Navy’s largest ship is creating a memorable experience for 10 gap year sailors and officers. 

The group has been lending a hand in the galley of HMAS Adelaide as it conducts amphibious training off the coast of Townsville during Exercise Sea Wader.

For four weeks, they have worked alongside Adelaide’s chefs and been exposed to all parts of the ship and its operations.  

Chief Petty Officer Maritime Logistics-Chef Shaun Taylor said he was impressed by the sailors’ and officers’ diligent work, ethics and willingness to learn.  

“They have been keeping very busy and are a great addition to our galley. They are always offering to help, whether it be serving, cooking, prepping or cleaning,” he said.

Two members have also had the opportunity to experience the routine of night chefs, assisting with baking bread, making dessert, serving “midnighters” and cooking breakfast.

Midshipman Lane Wilson said he found the chance to understand the functions of a maritime logistics sub-department rewarding. 

“It’s been great to spend time with the chefs and see how their different watches work. It also means in the future, as a maritime logistic officer, I will have a greater appreciation for how much work goes into feeding a ship’s company and serving four meals a day,” Midshipman Wilson. 

The midshipmen have also been rotating through the role of storesperson, which has provided them with an understanding of stores, stock rotation, menu planning and the requirements of hazard analysis and critical control points. 

Outside the galley, the group have been fully integrated into the ship’s routine, including daily PT, departmental sports and formal rounds. 

They have also had the chance to visit flight command, the bridge, machinery compartments and medical facilities. 

For Seaman Gap Year Olivia Alves, a ride in one of Adelaide’s light landing craft was her favourite experience. 

“It was incredible to look back at the ship from across the water,” she said.

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