When Rowville's Nathan Darvill was kicked out of home and school at age 16, he never expected to clean up his act as a discipline-focused military policeman in the Royal Australian Navy.
Structure and self-discipline were not strong attributes for Nathan when he was a wayward teenager roaming the streets of Rowville, causing mischief.
But as a Naval Police Coxswain, Petty Officer Nathan Darvill now leads by example in maintaining order and discipline in the Navy ship HMAS Brunei.
"After having been kicked out of home at the age of 16, I realised pretty quickly that I needed greater structure in my life," he said.
"I found the Navy, and signed on with the intent to serve only for the initial enlistment period.
"But it was apparent straight away that the structure, discipline and the opportunities to expand my horizons with travel were exactly what I needed.
"Fourteen years later I’m doing a job I love, I’ve made my family proud and I am providing a good upbringing for my children."
For the first seven years of his naval career, Nathan was a boatswain's mate, serving aboard the guided missile destroyer HMAS Brisbane, as well as part of the boarding party on the Anzac Class frigate HMAS Stuart in which he undertook a deployment to the Middle East.
Nathan also served as a damage control instructor at the RAN School of Survivability and Ship Safety at HMAS Cerberus.
But in 2007, Nathan changed category to become a naval police coxswain which set him on course for promotion to petty officer when he joined the Armidale-class patrol boat crew, AWARE 1, in 2011.
Two years later he volunteered for a short operational relief posting to the Cairns-based landing craft heavy (LCH) Brunei, and 12-months later he remains an integral part of the ship, in which he has a multi-faceted role that incorporates whole ship coordination, order and discipline, medic, officer of the watch and coxswain duties.
Brunei’s executive officer, Lieutenant B J Glover, said Nathan is a very enthusiastic senior sailor, who takes pride in maintaining structure, good order and discipline onboard Brunei.
"I can certainly see how the Navy was able to provide Nathan with stability and a number of role models as a young junior sailor, which in retrospect has made him dedicated to providing the same traits towards the next generation," Lieutenant Glover said.
Nathan said he has very fond memories on Brunei.
"The highlight of my time in Brunei was when we sailed in company with Labuan and Tarakan for the last time, in the formation exit from our home port of Cairns.
"It has been fantastic to be part of history and to have been a serving member on a forty year old ship."
Brunei had one last adventure in October, when she participated in a search to locate the remains of WWII sailor on Guluwuru Island, approximately 650km from Darwin.
Brunei travelled to Guluwuru Island in an attempt to locate the remains of Stoker Percival Cameron, who served in the Particia Cam, which was sunk by a Japanese float-plane on January 22, 1943, near the Wessel Islands, in the Northern Territory.
Army specialists and Indigenous cultural monitors travelled to the location after researchers provided information that indicated the remains could reasonably be found.
Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful in this search.
When Brunei and her sister LCHs (HMAS Labuan and HMAS Tarakan) are decommissioned this month, Nathan hopes to be posted to one of the new Canberra-class Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious assault ships.
"The Canberra Class ships will be a great asset to the Navy, and I would love to serve on these ships in the future if I have the opportunity," he said.