Kate Greenwood had always wanted to be a diesel mechanic. Ever since she was a kid she had loved pulling engines apart with her dad, and loved to get her hands dirty and fix things.
So when it came to deciding on her career, a life long interest in Navy ships and a bit of online research saw her join the Royal Australian Navy as a Marine Technician in 2007.
Following Recruit School and category training it wasn’t long before Kate began her sea posting, first to HMAS Kanimbla followed by HMAS Tobruk.
In 2009 she moved to Cairns where she worked on patrol boats.
Frequently involved in search and rescue as a part of boarding party, Kate had some eye opening experiences.
“The experience of actually seeing it in real life, outside of TV, seeing all the kids and babies was pretty full on,” she said.
“Navy would conduct the searches and then they would be handed over to customs.”
Currently posted to HMAS Choules, Kate was one of the first to join the ship in mid 2011 when the crew travelled to the United Kingdom to be trained by the Royal Navy and bring the ship back to Australia. Though she wouldn’t tell you, she was the recipient of the Choules’ Australia Day medallion for 2013, demonstrating just how important her efforts have been in bringing this new ship into service.
“I lived in the UK for four months which was a real highlight for me.”
“During that time I was doing courses at Portsmouth and Falmouth where the ship was docked to learn about the mechanics of the ship,” she said.
“It was also great to have the weekends free. In fact, one weekend we drove to Germany for the Oktoberfest, which was a lot of fun.”
Kate enjoys the diversity of her role, from management of the ship’s water production, to maintenance on the engines of small boats with diesel engines, repairs of doors, drains, and galley equipment.
She said that it is a busy role, but a fun career as long as you don’t mind getting your hands dirty.