People the focus of Navy’s birthday celebration

People the focus of Navy’s birthday celebration

Canberra’s Brindabella Park was awash with white uniforms on the first day of autumn as Navy celebrated its 120th birthday.

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mike Noonan said Navy’s people were the event’s main focus and the reason the Directorate of Navy Career, Performance and Support was selected as the location for the celebration.

“There has been a lot of great work done by each and every one of you, in terms of our current workforce and our future workforce,” Vice Admiral Noonan said. 

“Last year tested us as a Navy and a nation, and one conversation I found myself often having was the fact we were able to do what we did through COVID, do what we did through the bushfires and still keep our ships at sea every day.

“It is an absolute reflection on the focus and the commitment we make to the wellbeing of our people and building our Navy’s resilience.”

Following 120 years of tradition, the birthday cake was cut by the youngest sailor and the most senior officer in attendance.

Seaman Hydrographic System Julia Ham had the honour of wielding the sword with Vice Admiral Noonan. 

Petty Officer Naval Police Coxswain Tara Fischer shares her birthday with Navy.

While at 35 she is a bit younger than Navy, Petty Officer Fischer, who is posted to Navy Separations at Brindabella, said she was stoked to be at the event. 

“It’s great that Chief of Navy chose to share the morning with us, and it’s wonderful recognition for everyone’s hard work,” Petty Officer Fischer said. 

“Plus not everyone gets a cake spread like this on their birthday.”

Earlier in the day, a commemorative service was held at the Navy memorial in Canberra. 

Vice Admiral Noonan said Navy could draw strength and honour from its humble beginnings as it focused on the future. 

“We will keep evolving, deepening our connection with the Nation and supporting our partners and neighbours,” he said.

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