Jenny Firman - Early training

Running time
1 min 38 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


It was a big shock in many respects in that I'd been working at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in accident emergency doing night duty. So I'd be doing long shifts overnight at a point where it's really busy. There might be, you know, people with life threatening illnesses.

And I had to travel from that, directly drive to Cerberus to start my officer training at Jervis, at Creswell. So when I got to HMAS Creswell, you know, which is a really lovely setting on Jervis Bay, beautiful white beaches for a really much more relaxed working life than I've had in the hospital. It was just a bit of a shock to sort of go from that high pressure environment to a less pressured environment …

I did what was called a direct entry officer course at that point, and it wasn't made up of all doctors. It was a mixture of doctors and engineers, nurses, dentists, chaplains, all people who were coming into the Navy having already become professionals, if you like … We had to learn to march. We had to do the things one usually learns in the military. But they were talking to adults who were there really of their own free will, they didn't need that kind of yelling … we did how to be winched out of the ocean into a helicopter.

The navy does ship survival training which is on land in a facility that helps you plug holes in a ship should it be hit and learn to put out fires and that sort of thing and everybody in the Navy does that. So we did some of that training, but that was all.

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