Freedom-of-entry a highlight for local

25 March 2024

Returning to her hometown of Hobart for a freedom-of-entry parade was a career highlight for Lieutenant Renee Brelis.

Joining the Navy in 2016, Lieutenant Brelis brought with her a love of teamwork, discipline and watersports from her days of rowing on the Derwent River.  

Those memories returned when she once again navigated the same river, this time on the bridge of HMAS Hobart.

“Coming through the Derwent was the most surreal experience,” she said.

“My mum had her school children from Goulburn Street Primary here to greet the ship, and they were waving at us from the hill. It was probably the most sentimental moment of my life.”

In addition to returning to her hometown with the Navy for the first time, it was also her first freedom of entry.

“It’s the honour of my career, coming back to Hobart eight years later. All these places really define who you are as a human when you're growing up,” Lieutenant Brelis said.

“Coming back to it once you've pretty much reached capacity in your career and you’ve become potentially the best version of yourself, to come back in that version is really special.”

The return gave Lieutenant Brelis an opportunity to spend quality time with her family and show her parents the place she works.

“I was able to have my parents on board for an official reception and give them a tour of the ship, which was absolutely amazing. I don't think many people get to do that in their entire career,” she said.

Lieutenant Brelis said it was special to march through the streets with her family and friends watching, as well as being surrounded by her Navy family.

“I have the privilege of working with potentially the best team I've ever been part of in HMAS Hobart,” she said.

Her advice for anyone wanting to join: “The Navy sets you up for life. It will point you in the right direction and it will develop you and make you really realise your full potential”.



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