THE SCRIBBLER # 84
E NEWS – September 2021
Scribes (used as a collective noun)
Well COVID 19 is still with us and seems like it may be for sometime and with it lockdown and restrictions. I do hope everyone is coping especially in the harder areas. Many of us have been through this before and as such we will get through it this time. We would love to hear how you are getting on. Tried a new hobby, taking up guitar, brewed or found a new beer.
We have been doing an audit on our numbers and would appreciate your assistance. Also to conform with the association regulations we also doing an audit into assets and financials all prior to the AGM. Remember at an AGM all positions will be vacated so think hard about volunteering to be on the Committee.
More on all of this later in the Scribbler.
Since penning this, I have been advised we have lost one of our own to COVID 19. Our thoughts are with all his family and friends. We have also learnt of the passing of John Jefferson.
Look after yourself and family and friends in this strange time.
The association has recently conducted a membership audit in preparation for the next AGM. This will also assist to ensure we have accurate contact details for the website, news, etc. It has been a while since one of these activities has been undertaken. An email has been sent out to all known email addresses with a request to confirm member details. If you haven’t already replied to the email, please do so at your earliest convenience.
If you haven’t received an email then chances are we don’t have your current contact details.
All members are asked to provide the following information by 08 September via email to email@example.com:
- Full name:
- Preferred name:
- Membership number (if known):
- Membership status: Lifelong / Expired / Not sure (please indicate which best fits)
- Address (either home or mailing address):
- Mobile/Phone Number:
- Email address:
If you have already replied and supplied your details, there is no need to resend them.
The audit also identified the following membership numbers have no accompanying data:
If you are one of these members – please reach out!
In order to comply with the ACT Association Act we are required to conduct an AGM after the end of the financial year and before 31 December.
Thursday 07 October 2021 commencing at 1900 hrs
Meeting will be conducted via Zoom. Details to be forwarded to financial members via email.
The Minutes of the last Association Committee meeting which was held on 17 June 2021 have been promulgated. A copy is attached to this edition of the Scribbler while we work to finalise the new and much improve webpage.
It was agreed out of session on 17 July 2021 by the Association Committee to approve the membership structure for FY21/22. The costs for membership will be as follows:
- Lifelong membership – $110
- 1 year – $12
- 2 years – $24
- 3 years – $36
The Association Committee also agreed to 1 year free membership to current serving members as a strategy to increase the membership of the Association. If this applies, reach out.
Matt Regan is busy working on setting up the membership database and costing schedule in the background of the new website which will be set-up to align to this pricing schedule. If your membership has lapsed or you are looking to join(!), we will let you know when it’s good to go!
Many thanks to Marc Henderson for finalising the Association’s returns for the FYs 19/20 and 20/21. These records will be able to financial members to view ahead of the upcoming next AGM.
At the 17 June 2021 Association Committee meeting in light of the ongoing impacts COVID-19 is having across Australia and the risk of conducting larger scale events, it was decided to pursue smaller and localised events. More to follow in this space…
ADF revised the military salary for reserves in May this year. Within the reserve salary there is a rolled-in universal allowance that now covers uniform allowance. Henceforth, SERCAT 3 & 5 personnel no longer have an entitlement to the gratuitous issue/exchange of non-combat uniforms. The ability to exchange combat uniforms remains extant.
The Directorate of Navy Career Management, in conjunction with the Directorate of Navy Health, Director General Garrison Health and Director General Navy People have reviewed the policy surrounding employment of SERCAT 3 & 5 members on Reserve Service Days (RSD). The review concluded that SERCAT 3 & 5 members with an employable MEC undertaking RSD represent minimal risk in the non-deployed environment in the short-term, regardless of having an in-date PHE. An employable MEC includes J1X, J2X, M2X, J3X and J42.
Accordingly, with immediate effect:
- Postings in the non-deployed environment for SERCAT 3 & 5 members, with an employable MEC can now be made where a member’s MEC has expired for a period of up to and including two years,
- Members cannot be posted beyond two years from their medical expiry date, and
- Posting in the deployed environment must meet extant Navy Policy, Fleet Heath Instructions and CJOPS Directive 28/17 Direction to Personnel Deploying on CJOPS Operations and Exercises.
The following is an extract of the policy for the entitlement, issue and management of the new MMPU, as a replacement for the Disruptive Pattern Navy Uniform (DPNU).
The intent is for all serving Navy personnel (including Reservists and Australian Navy Cadets) to receive MMPU at Commonwealth expense. The MMPU will be delivered to regional Clothing Stores and Fleet Logistic Support Elements for issue to members through a staged rollout plan. The rollout of MMPU across Navy is expected to commence in Oct 21 in the North Queensland and Darwin regions. The full rollout plan will be available once validation of MMPU delivery dates are confirmed with all stakeholders. More to follow…
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide was established on 8 July 2021. Under the Letters Patent, the Royal Commissioners are required to produce an interim report by 11 August 2022 and a final report by 15 June 2023. The Letters Patent set out the Royal Commissioners’ terms of reference.
The Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide is an opportunity to learn and strengthen the approach to the mental health and welfare of our people. Submissions are open now until the end of March 2022, and we encourage you to participate via the Royal Commission website.
Defence has established a Taskforce within Associate Secretary Group and headed by Air Vice-Marshal Barbara Courtney to coordinate our response. For information about the Royal Commission and our response, please visit the RCDVS intranet page.
We acknowledge the Royal Commission may impact on our people and their families. Your welfare and the welfare of those around you is our priority. Support is always available, through your chain of command, your supervisors and through the following services:
• All Hours ADF support line on 1800 628 036
• The Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608
• 1800 IM SICK (1800 467 425)
• The Employee Assistance Program (1300 687 327 (1300 OUR EAP)), and
• If life is in danger, please call 000.
Maritime Personnel (MPERS) training has continued despite multiple COVID-19 lockdowns and a period of isolation for the Maritime Personnel School (MPS) staff and the students of Initial Maritime Personnel Operator (aka Initial Scribes course) Session 0027… to their credit they showed great resilience during their 14 day isolation period and once training was able to resume, recommenced training online with the MPS instruction team.
The students of Initial Maritime Personnel Operator Session 026 graduated in June 2021 during another Victoria lockdown. The ceremony was conducted in a COVID-19 safe manner in the ‘Wardroom’ section of the Training Authority-Maritime Logistics and Health Simulator as HMAS Cerberus – pic below. The ceremony was also conducted in the virtual space as a number of students were on tasking to Operation COVID-19 Assist in Melbourne CBD. Unfortunately the students departure from Cerberus was delayed due to travel restrictions – all posted out of Cerberus less than two weeks later to take up postings across Navy and in the Fleet.
The class of Initial MPO 026 are fallen as part of their graduation ceremony watched both in person and virtually.
Seaman Emily Poole was award the ‘RAN Writer’s Student of Merit’ award for session 026. BZ Emily and welcome to the Scribe family!
The Initial Maritime HR Officer (MHRO) course session 003, the Navy’s new Officer cohort of HR and PERS specialists, graduated on 27 May 2021 from their 15 week Initial Employment Training/Application Course from Cerberus. The students were lucky to have graduated and departed Cerberus ahead of another Victorian metro lockdown which commenced 24 hours later.
Sub Lieutenant Laura Kelly (left) was awarded the ‘RAN Writers Student of Merit Award’. Lieutenant Mi Tang was awarded the Navy Human Resources Competency Framework Peer award.
Well done to the newest cohort of Navy’s Maritime HR Officers, welcome to the Fleet and we look to your contribution supporting Navy people and to the Association.
From LEUT Ecuyer’s article in Navy News 08 July 2021 edition (https://navynews.partica.online/navy-news/july-8-2021/training/hr-personnel-urged-to-align-with-the-best)
Members of the Maritime Personnel Community are encouraged to engage with the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), the professional body for human resources (HR) in Australia, to have their professional experience recognised.
Maritime HR Officers (MHRO) and Maritime Personnel (MPERS) Sailors were established in 2020 as a key component of Navy’s transformation of workforce management and have opportunities to contemporise and refine HR skills and knowledge through the AHRI’s programs.
AB Mara Johnsen, part of the MPERS team at HMAS Waterhen, is undertaking the AHRI Certificate IV in HR, and is part of the mentoring program.
“I am just over halfway through the course and have really enjoyed learning about building and developing talent, and performance management,” AB Johnsen said.
“This has developed my understanding of the importance of managing others, helping build their careers and supporting them to build the future of our branch.”
CMDR Kristen Watts started her career in Navy as a MWO, however, after postings as a Career Manager and as XO HMAS Harman, CMDR Watts developed a strong interest in human resources, and she transferred to MHRO. She is now Chief of Staff Future Navy Workforce.
CMDR Watts has been certified and recognised as a fellow by AHRI, the highest level of professional membership.
“I really enjoyed the AHRI certification and fellowship process, which not only gave me professional recognition, but was a rare opportunity to personally reflect on and appreciate my experience and career achievements,” CMDR Watts said.
“I have ongoing involvement with the AHRI through their networking events and I have also joined their mentoring program as a mentor.”
Being involved with AHRI enables MHROs and MPERSs to match their experience and skills against globally benchmarked industry standards for HR professionals.
It benefits Navy HR specialists to be part of a collaborative environment and strengthen relationships with the broader Australian HR industry.
The development of the Maritime Personnel Community is also in line with the broader APS HR Professional Stream, launched in October 2019 by the APS Commissioner.
The strategy supports the establishment of a professional stream which identifies core, long-term capability needs, standards and career pathways.
“Bringing together, investing in, and building our expert HR community, benefits the development of all Navy people,” CMDR Watts said.
The South Australian contingent of Ex-Scribes met in July, in Adelaide over lunch, at a gathering at the Strathmore Hotel.
This luncheon is one of two, organised each year by John “Chuck” Trafford & has a regular attendance of a dozen or more ex-scribes each time.
Those in attendance at this luncheon, as shown in the photo below, are as follows from left to right:-
Nick Geyer, Alan “Ajax” Axford, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Kevin Scarce, AO SCS, Bruce Hambour, Garry “Senior” Kinnear, Dave “Rick” Rickard, Michael “The Colonel” Kelleher, Greg “Junior” Kinnear, Trevor Atkins, Trevor “Barney” Barnes (partly hidden), Peter “Simmo” Simpson, and Bob Pritchard
Those absent from this gathering, but have attended previous luncheons were:-
Brian “BJ” Tucker
Alan “Wettex” Curtain
The above group, consists of various ranks & ratings & despite Covid-19 restrictions, we were able to sit, eat & drink to our hearts content.
Many a tall tale was exchanged as the afternoon wore on, & even though some had been related at previous gatherings, the stories or “dits” held a very captive audience.
The next planned luncheon will be held in early December (Covid) permitting, to celebrate Xmas 2021.
Jodie joined the Navy as a Recruit Writer on 25 Jun 1985 and over the last 36 years has undertaken numerous postings both at sea and ashore across the full spectrum of Writer/MPM employment. During her career she has witnessed and experienced so much change in the Navy. Similarly, the role of the Writer Category has also seen significant change from technological advances to workgroup name changes and the creation of a stand alone Maritime Personnel Community.
Serving the nation is a cornerstone of the commitment made by people when they join the Navy. Jodie is an outstanding example of someone who has put nation before self and has always been one to put her hand up to serve and volunteer. She has experienced Australian Bicentennial activities, community engagement with Legacy, Exercise Long Look, International Fleet Review to highlight a few. She has completed operational service in East Timor and the Middle East.
It was fitting that Jodie’s last posting in the permanent Navy was as a member of Career Management providing services to sailors and officers. CDRE Matt Buckley (Director General Navy People) highlighted that Jodie’s contribution to the welfare of Navy people over her career was significant. He also acknowledged the sacrifices she has made over this time and also thanked her family who were present. CDRE Buckly then presented Jodie with her service medallion to recognise her service followed shortly after by farewell gifts from her work colleagues.
In a first for the RAN Writers Association, I represented our President Mark ‘Blue’ Worrall at the retirement ceremony. I presented her with a letter from Blue that passed best wishes to Jodie and her family on behalf of the association and its members. She was also presented with an association coin in recognition of her long and valued service to Writer/Maritime Personnel workgroup.
In her response, Jodie thanked all for attending before recounting some key stories and events in her career. Jodie will complete her full time service on 2 Aug 21 before transferring to Service Category 3 where she will continue her service in a part time capacity. She of course will enjoy a well-deserved break with her family first.
BZ Jodie and family; thank you for your service!
We regret to advise the passing of Ex LSWTR Isaac Black 8107351 who lost his long battle with bowel cancer, aged 41 years.
Isaac joined the RAN in Apr 1997 where he served as a Writer in establishments; HMA Ships Albatross and Stirling, Frigate HMAS Adelaide and Defence Force Recruiting.
Issac transferred to the RAAF as a Dog Handler in 2003 before perusing a civilian career in Oct 2012. Isaac was described as a family man, a remarkable person who was incredibly kind and touched everyone he met.
Issac is survived by his wife Michelle and two young daughters.
RIP Issac, your watch is done.
We learned from Kevin’s wife, Jacqueline Morris on 21 August 21 that Kevin had sadly passed away on 18 August 2021. Jacqueline advised that Kevin was in bad health before contracting COVID-19 – and unfortunately was unable to fight off the COVID-19 virus.
Brian “BJ” Tucker asked the Association to pass on to you all the notification of the passing of a very good & “salty” friend of his, Bob Collins.
BJ & Bob served together in the early 60’s & remained close friends from then on.
I served with Bob in the Hobart on Vietnam voyage 1968. BJ indicated Bob was a great bloke who he could relate many stories about.
Bruce Hambour provided the following about Bob from an abstract from his book he has been writing.
I could tell many stories of events in Olongopo but shall leave it to one when my POWTR, commonly known as Black Bob because of he spent many hours sun tanning on the way to Vietnam and our PO Cook Bill Warnecke, were with some other guys in a two story bar consuming a multitude of drinks when the waiter tried to overcharge them for their drinks which caused them to get very upset and defend their cause against a belligerent waiter. A fight broke out and the waiter was thrown out the first floor window and they escaped the venue by swinging chairs above their heads. After absconding to another bar a waitress came up to them saying that she knew what they had done because the police were looking for them. They remained hidden and were never discovered nor did they ever find out what had happened to the poor waiter that was trying to rip them off.
May our fellow shipmate RIP and may God bring peace and comfort to his grieving family.
It is with sadness we also advise of the passing of Association member, John Jefferson, who passed away on 08 August 2021.
RIP John – your watch is done.
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