A lad from Deception Bay has turned his love of the open water into a sea career with the Royal Australian Navy where he now finds himself patrolling for drug traffickers in the Middle East region.
Tim Callus is an Able Seaman Marine Technician (ABMT) serving in the Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigate HMAS Newcastle on Operation MANITOU.
OP MANITOU is the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region.
HMAS Newcastle operates as part of the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces, predominately tasked to support Combined Task Force–150 with maritime security and counter-terrorism operations and Combined Task Force – 151 with counter-piracy operations.
Tim grew up in Kyneton and Bendigo in Victoria with mum and dad, Jodie and Michael, and attended Kyneton Primary School, Kangaroo Flat High School, and Bendigo Catholic College.
Moving to Queensland when he was 15, Tim finished his schooling at Deception Bay High School.
"Working on my Nan and Pop's farm in Kyneton and going to watch our horses compete at the local harness racing meetings are some of my favourite memories of growing up in Victoria", Tim recalled.
Like many Aussie boys, Tim enjoyed his sport, especially AFL and in his earlier years he played for three clubs: North Kyneton, and Marong in Victoria, and Aspley Hornets in Queensland.
Keeping fit is part of service life and Tim has ample opportunity while on deployment to maintain his hunger for exercise.
He also raises plenty of sweat in Newcastle as he monitors and maintains the power distribution throughout the ship, identifying and fixing faults in the complex electrical systems.
In 2010, after completing Year 12, Tim heard the call for adventure and decided that a Navy career would be more fulfilling than working at McDonald’s and as a lifeguard at Deception Bay Pool and Leisure Centre.
He marched into HMAS Cerberus, the Navy's sailor training establishment for his initial recruit training where he learnt how to become a valuable member of the RAN.
He followed this with a further six months learning the basic skills of a 'stoker' on the marine technician course, becoming proficient in technical drawing, making cast iron parts, electrical fundamentals, and understanding how diesel, pump and refrigeration systems work.
Tim then posted to Sydney where he consolidated his skills and then joined HMAS Darwin, a sister ship to HMAS Newcastle, in 2012.
His yearning for adventure began to come true when Darwin sailed for the biennial Rim of the Pacific multinational exercise where Tim saw the exotic sights of Hawaii.
Back ashore, Tim commenced his specialisation studies to gain competencies in the electrical side of the Marine Technician world.
His nine month course concluded with him being awarded his Certificate III as an electrical fitter.
In his role, Tim is responsible for operating and maintaining power generation and distribution.
In January 2013, Tim joined Newcastle and deployed to the Middle East region on Operation MANITOU in April this year.
When asked about his most memorable moments during this deployment, Tim spoke of the opportunity of visiting many different countries and experiencing diverse cultures, sights and foods.
"I have also really enjoyed being part of the ship’s boarding party and contributing to the success of our operation in a very 'hands-on' way," he said.
As the Marine Technician member of the boarding party, Tim is responsible to check and verify the condition of the engineering systems on the boarded vessel and advising the team of any safety concerns.
For his service on Operation MANITOU, AB Tim Callus has earned the Australian Operational Service Medal (OSM) – Greater Middle East Operation.
Newcastle's current deployment is the 60th rotation of an Australian warship to the MER since 1990.