Chief Petty Officer Steven Hooker of Sarina was looking for a life of adventure when he joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a Boatswains Mate.
Steven joined the Navy in 1987 believing it would offer him a unique lifestyle and many opportunities to travel.
Twenty five years later Steven has seen almost all of Australia and much of the world.
“Some of the most memorable moments have been travelling to the island of Crete in the Mediterranian while deployed in HMAS Sydney in 1993 and travelling the west coast of Canada and the US, again in HMAS Sydney in 2007,” he said.
Over the years, he has been posted to a variety of ships and bases across Australia and has also been a recruit school instructor, Master of Ceremonies and worked at Defence Force Recruiting.
In his current role, Steven is the Boarding Officer in an Armidale Class Patrol Boat crew, where he leads a team of up to eight personnel.
The boarding party’s key responsibility is to board foreign vessels and determine the reasons for them entering Australian waters. The patrol boats and their crew of 21 provide surveillance and response to counter eight distinct maritime threats including; terrorism, people smuggling, illegal fishing, prohibited imports and exports, quarantine risks, pollution and piracy.
“The boarding party teams across the patrol boat fleet are doing an exceptional job enhancing security and stability in our region,” Steven said.
“Frequently the teams are required to deal with challenging circumstances including weather conditions and the unknown condition of vessels overloaded with passengers,” he added.
Up to seven of the Royal Australian Navy’s Armidale Class Patrol Boats operating from Darwin and Cairns are deployed at sea at anyone time, conducting maritime border security operations in Australia’s northern waters.
Steven has been the recipient of many awards including the Australian Active Service Medal, Australian Service Medal, Operational Service Medal, Parramatta Medal, Australian Defence Medal, Kuwait and Meritorious Unit Citation.
The father of three children, Steven looks forward to spending time with his family when he’s home including his wife Tracey, daughters April and Chloe and son Christopher.