Rosebud resident, Misha Thorniley, had little idea that one day she would be recruited to the Royal Australian Navy training base HMAS Cerberus just 30km from her home.
The former Rosebud Secondary College student had dreamt of a career as a midwife, counsellor or working in hospitality.
“Despite growing up so close to HMAS Cerberus, I didn’t have much insight into the Australian Defence Force until a very close family member joined,” Misha said.
It wasn’t long before Misha began to hear about all the adventures and places she might visit around the world as part of a career in the Navy.
Misha joined in 2012 as a steward and after two years is now an Able Rate Maritime Logistics Steward (ABML-S).
“Being a steward is like running a small business,” Misha said.
“We are responsible for the daily jobs such as cleaning, serving meals to the officers and short order cooking. We run a small business onboard in the canteen and organise all the events management for local and overseas functions. Our ancillary roles include fighting fires, floods and toxic hazards in the ship and I am also medically trained as part of the Ship’s Medical Emergency Team,” she said.
Over the past 2 years that Misha has lived in Melbourne and Sydney.
“I have formed some wonderful friendships and also met some of the most genuine down to earth people. Everyone looks out for each other and helps one another out because it is not easy being away from your loved ones for months at a time; it is like an extended family. The ship becomes your home away from home.”
When Misha first considered joining the Navy she never thought she would be trained in such a large variety of roles and responsibilities. The travel opportunities have seen her almost circumnavigate Australia.
“Being in the Navy is probably the best decision I have ever made. Not only am I doing my dream job, I get paid to travel the world with some amazing people, go swimming in the middle of the ocean, fire a 50 calibre machine gun at sea and get a free ride in a Seahawk helicopter,” she said.
Misha is serving on HMAS Stuart, an ANZAC class frigate, which spent time alongside in Melbourne conducting maintenance.
“This was a great opportunity to show family and friends around the ship,” Misha said.
“I firmly believe life is what you make it. If you work hard and always focus on what you want achieve you will get where you want,” she said.
“The Navy has afforded me so many opportunities and I know my strong positive approach will only provide more over my career. All you need to do is keep focussed, stay strong and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”