Shornecliffe’s Lachlan Marsh marked his coming of age as a man with his 18th birthday on the warship HMAS Tobruk as it sped to the Philippines to assist with disaster relief operations in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
For many young blokes, turning 18 means a big night out with mates or a party at home with family and friends.
But for Midshipman Lachlan Marsh it was business as usual, because the focus was on the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) response to Typhoon Haiyan and the great damage it caused.
The former St Patricks College student said there were no special concessions, or a party, but he did get a surprise birthday cake.
“The chefs prepared an awesome cake to celebrate my 18th birthday, which was greatly appreciated,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate that I am away from friends and family for my birthday, but it will certainly be worth the experience and the stories that I will return with.”
Lachlan said he has come along way in his career and life since leaving St Patrick’s College, and he often wonders about the exciting future that awaits his brother, Angus, who is in Year 8.
Lachlan is one of 500 ADF personnel deployed in support of Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST who have commenced a range of tasks including road clearing and quick impact tasks such as debris clean-up in public areas.
Tobruk arrived on 26 November and immediately commenced recovery support operations in the Ormoc region of Leyte Island to assist the Philippines government repair the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan.