Three years ago Tim Quadrio was a commercial lawyer working high above the streets of Sydney.
Today Lieutenant Quadrio is the Navy Legal Officer embarked in HMAS Adelaide in support of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 task group, the biggest naval task group Australia has deployed in three decades.
Lieutenant Quadrio argues he is the luckiest lawyer in Australia.
“My office is a warship and I am part of a team representing Australia internationally,” he said.
“My primary task is to make sure the warships in our task group comply with international law, particularly the law of the sea.
“Australia has always strongly advocated for a rules-based international legal order, and while the Australian Government does this through international institutions like the United Nations, the Royal Australian Navy does it at sea every day of the year.
“In exercising our rights in accordance with international law, this task group is reinforcing the rules that underpin the security and prosperity of our region.”
Since joining the Navy Lieutenant Quadrio has undertaken significant training to convert him from a civilian solicitor into a seagoing legal officer.
After initial officer training at HMAS Creswell in Jervis Bay, Lieutenant Quadrio commenced on-the-job training at Fleet Headquarters in Sydney.
This was supplemented by a graduate diploma of military law at the Australian National University in Canberra.
After passing the arduous Joint Legal Operations Training course at the Military Law Centre in Sydney earlier this year, Lieutenant Quadrio was deemed fit to serve as a legal officer on overseas operations.
Three weeks later he deployed to sea.
“This is the first time Australia has deployed a task group of this size in my lifetime,” Lieutenant Quadrio said.
“Navy has made a big investment in my training as an officer and a lawyer, so it is great to put my training into practice at sea.
“In addition to advising on international law I also support command with legal advice on service discipline and administrative matters.
“These fundamental processes help ensure that we maintain a disciplined and ready force.”
Lieutenant Quadrio said his wife and young boys have made big sacrifices for him to go to sea.
“I would not be here without their understanding and belief,” he said.
“I hope I can make them proud.”
It turns out sea service is a family affair for Lieutenant Quadrio.
His father, a navy chaplain, is also deployed on Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 and his brother is due to start initial training as a reserve Maritime Trade Operations officer later this month.