Able Seaman Sarah Akil, a Communication and Information Systems sailor aboard HMAS Choules, is enjoying the chance to interact with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) locals, participating in a number of activities whilst anchored offshore Manus Island.
Sarah, who is 27 years old, grew up near Potts Point and joined the navy in February 2007 because she wanted to challenge herself and travel the world.
“I wanted to do different things everyday in my job,” said Sarah.
“I’ve also liked gaining a diverse range of friends that are all different ages and have different life experiences.”
Over the past few weeks Sarah has been able to participate in training with the PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) and has enjoyed the opportunity to provide instruction to a few of the sailors on Visual Morse Code procedures.
“It’s been great to go ashore and get to know the locals and even instructing,” said Sarah.
“It’s a whole different way of life here in PNG and I’ve enjoyed getting to know the people and their culture.”
Sarah joined HMAS Choules in January this year, and has found that the ship has a real family feel amongst the crew.
“It’s probably the best ship I’ve been on,” said Sarah.
“The command is very focussed on morale and they go the extra mile to make people feel like this is their home, like celebrating birthdays and having people actively involved in activities.”
HMAS Choules is the Royal Australian Navy’s Landing Ship Dock and provides the Defence Force with a number of capabilities to support amphibious operations and Humanitarian Assistance missions.