Anzac Day in the Top End

HMAS Coonawarra Officer Lieutenant Matt Dobrincic with students from Borroloola Primary School during Anzac Day community engagement.

Anzac Day in the Top End

On Anzac Day, sailors and officers from HMAS Coonawarra visited remote areas of the NT to engage with regional communities.

Chief Petty Officer Tony Thomas led a visit to the small town of Numbulwar, more than 700km from Darwin.

He said it became more of an adventure than he expected. 

“We were only able to get as far as Ngukurr on the roads due to wet weather with road closures,” Petty Officer Thomas said.

“The local community actually charted a little Cessna 210 prop aircraft to get us the last leg of the way.

“The best thing about this so far is seeing our young service members interacting with the community and enjoying the experience, as well as seeing the communities themselves excited about having us here.”

The youngest member of the group, Seaman Riley McCormick said he was thrilled at the opportunity and most excited about the school visits. 

“Being from Melbourne, this has been an interesting and rewarding experience that you don’t get to see from the other side of the country,” Seaman McCormick said.

“It has been great to meet veterans living locally here and partner with them for the Anzac Day ceremony.”

Lieutenant Matt Dobrincic travelled to the Borroloola township more than 900km from Darwin by road and 50km south of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

“I enjoyed the visit to the Borroloola Primary School, as part of the McArthur River Mine community engagement program,” Lieutenant Dobrincic said

“We spoke to the kids about the Navy and Anzac Day as well as played a very competitive game of soccer.

“One of the kids even drew a picture for me – this has been an awesome experience.”

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