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Jordana McLeod - Cowra

When Newcastle’s Navy Midshipman, Matthew Newman, completed aid work in Papua New Guinea last year he was inspired to begin a career to help others.

It was an easy choice for the St Francis Xavier College graduate who joined Royal Australian Navy in January as a Marine Engineering Officer.

18-year-old Matthew said it was a perfect fit for his personality and career aspirations.

"The Navy does a lot of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief work which is something I am very passionate about." Matthew said.

"This job also gives me the opportunity to combine my other passion which is working with mechanics, more specifically engineering."

Currently undertaking the New Entry Officers Course (NEOC), Matthew has embarked the Navy’s amphibious ship HMAS Choules for his first sea deployment to Auckland, New Zealand.

"Choules is exactly where I want to be, her main role is HADR and I hope I will be back here when I am fully qualified." Matthew said.

A former member of the Dixon Park Surf Lifesaving Club, Matthew is no stranger to the water and said he hopes to adapt to sea life quickly.

"I am excited to be heading to sea with the Navy for the first time, I expect I shouldn’t have any issues getting into swing of things."

"We have three weeks onboard Choules, so I’m sure that’s enough time for me to get my sea legs."

Matthew has a few more years of training ahead of him once he graduates from the Naval College in June.

"Next year I will be starting my mechanical engineering degree at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA)."

"But right now my focus is on completing my time at sea and our final leadership assessment at Naval College," he said.

Choules visited New Zealand as part of their training program for over 100 embarked Junior Officers currently undertaking their NEOC.

Choules is a Royal Australian Navy Landing Ship Dock class capable of amphibious operations and HADR throughout the region.

Matthew and the other members of NEOC 50 will graduate on 28 June 2014 at the Royal Australian Navy College, HMAS Creswell in Jervis Bay.