Limited space but vast opportunities

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The Hon Darren Chester MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Minister for Defence Personnel

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5 February 2019

TODAY, eight lucky Australians were announced as the winners of Defence’s national competition to experience life as a submariner, offering a great first step toward a career within the Royal Australian Navy and the extraordinary submarine service.
Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said Defence received close to 200 entries for the competition and congratulated the winners.
The successful entrants – Damon Dawson, 19, Cessnock NSW; Sarah Cox, 18, Darwin NT; Jack Evans, 18, Gold Coast QLD; Katelyn Mayne, 20, Hobart TAS; Tahlia Purdie, 25, Melbourne VIC; Kirkley Whiting, 19, Esperance WA; Noah Edberg, 27, Harrison ACT; and Melvin Wong, 23, Brompton SA - explained in 50 words or less the submariner role they would choose and why.
Damon Dawson’s choice was Acoustic Analyst Submariner because he aspires to be part of the team providing real-time intelligence to commanders.
Tahlia Purdie is interested in the Marine Technician role because she is fascinated by submarine propulsion systems and how they work. Tahlia wants a career where she can work with her hands and apply her mind to solve problems.
For West Australian Kirkley Whiting, the best option is Electronics Engineer. He’s excited by the challenges of the job, the uniqueness of it and the opportunity to work on world class technologies as part of a close community of people.
“Today our competition winners explored Australia’s largest Navy base, HMAS Stirling, in Garden Island, Western Australia,” Mr Chester said.
“They experienced Navy simulators at the Submarine Training and Systems Centre, testing their fitness during a physical training session, honing their skills on the Weapon Training Simulation System and observing where Australia’s submariners work, on-board HMAS Sheean.
“I congratulate them on taking this opportunity to learn about the great career opportunities on offer beneath the surface.
“They have seen for themselves that the environment is unique and while the space is limited, the experience is vast.”
For further information about a career in the Navy, visit

MEDIA NOTE: Opportunities available for interviews with Maritime Warfare Officer Submariner, Lieutenant Kara Wansbury; Acoustic Analyst Submariner, Leading Seaman Leigh Crutchley; and competition winners.

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