Christina Rogerson was elated to be calling into HMAS Stirling. Fleet Base West was the last Australian port visit for the Guided Missile Frigate (FFG) HMAS Melbourne, where the 29-year-old Navy Lieutenant, originally from Harvey, was serving, before she departed for the Middle East.
HMAS Melbourne is on the 56th rotation of an Australian vessel to the Middle East in support of OPERATION SLIPPER. Melbourne has relieved sister ship, HMAS Newcastle, who has been on station since April this year, conducting Maritime Security Patrols.
Christina a Marine Engineering Officer under training on board, previously underwent four years study at the University of Western Australia to earn her Bachelor of Engineering. She then undertook her New Entry Officer Course training at HMAS Creswell, on the shores of Jervis Bay, NSW, and is now consolidating this training in order to earn her professional qualification as a Marine Engineering Officer; and a long and rewarding career in the Australian Defence Force. Initially she has to earn the same qualifications as junior Marine Engineering Sailors by learning such systems as Power Generation and Distribution, Main Propulsion Engines, Sewerage, Air conditioning and Refrigeration, High and Low Air pressure and Reverse Osmosis plants, that turn salt water into fresh, just to name a few.
Christina, who attended St. Anne's Catholic Primary School and Bunbury Catholic College, states that the work is at times dirty, greasy and hot but she thoroughly enjoys the challenge, and embraces the broadening of her horizons.
Christina who has already been awarded the Australian Defence Medal, will qualify for the Australian Active Service Medal with International Coalition Against Terrorism clasp, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal after this deployment. She says that passing the ship’s practical examination – the Mission Readiness Evaluation - was her most memorable moment on board Melbourne to date and eagerly anticipates doing the job for real in the waters of the Middle East.
On completion of this deployment, early next year, Christina is looking forward to spending some time with her partner and family and just generally winding down after what is sure to be a busy and rewarding period away from Australia.