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Matthew Oliver

From riding the land to riding the waves, Mollymook Beach resident and former jackaroo, Matthew Oliver, is about to embark on a career with the Royal Australian Navy.

17-year-old Matthew recently graduated from 11 weeks of initial training at the RAN Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria and is looking forward to taking the next step in an exciting career as a Boatswains Mate (BM) sailor.

Recruit training instils the basic skills to become a sailor from cleaning, ironing, and living in a close communal environment, through to survival at sea, fire fighting, damage control and weapons handling. To round all of those skills out there’s also intense fitness training to fit in each day.

“The most challenging part for me was the massive change in living environment. I went from having a shower and a room to myself, to sharing a room with four other blokes and living on a floor with 80 odd other blokes,” Matthew said.

“But going through training had its rewards too. For me that was getting 40 seconds less on my 2.4 km run time and being able to see the difference,” he added.

Matthew will continue with further training to qualify as a BM sailor which involves boarding operations, force protection, replenishment at sea, maintaining weapons and the possibility of being selected to become a part of the fast roping team.  

“What I’m most looking forward to is going to sea, even if it’s for one week or one month, just knowing I am part of a team and making a difference,” Matthew concluded.

Not afraid of hard work, before joining the Navy Matthew worked as a Jackaroo on a sheep and cattle property in West Griffith, NSW. While there are still challenges and hard work ahead, Matthew is looking forward to every experience he can get.