From mining industry to minehunters

20 March 2024

From working in the mining industry in Central Queensland to maintaining the engineering systems in Navy's fleet of minehunter coastal (MHC) vessels, Leading Seaman Andre Vink has followed an unconventional path to becoming a marine technician.

As he conducts routine maintenance on HMAS Yarra within the picturesque HMAS Waterhen naval base on Sydney Harbour, he said he has never regretted the move.

Leading Seaman Vink joined the Navy as a marine technician more than five years ago, after various roles in the mining industry over 12 years.

“I was previously a superintendent in production but I really wanted to do something new,” he said.

“The idea of working on ships appealed to me and I wanted to do something with pride and passion, so Defence was the path that I chose.”

Since completing his initial employment training, Leading Seaman Vink has served exclusively in the Huon-class minehunters, twice in Yarra as well as a stint in sister ship HMAS Gascoyne.

Minehunters perform a number of specialist roles within Navy; supporting mine warfare, clearance diving, hydrography, meteorology and border patrols.

The group's home base is Waterhen – Navy's lead establishment for mine warfare and home to some of its most advanced mine counter-measure equipment and technology.

Leading Seaman Vink said the MHC was a platform that suited him.

“I like small ships with a tight-knit crew and you get responsibility at an early stage in your career,” he said.

“Not to mention the million-dollar views at our office!”

To find out more about a career in Navy click here.



Story type

Related services




Recommended stories