Mark Povey - Joining the Navy

Running time
2 min 18 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I joined the Navy as a 16-year-old. I was living in South Australia and I joined in 77. I was a 16-year-old and I left high school. I was in fourth year high school at Salisbury East High School in South Australia. I had no idea at an early stage what to do with my working life.

Dad's mate's son came home from HMAS Leeuwin as a junior recruit, had a pocket full of money and it seemed like a good idea at the time so I applied for the Navy and went through the rigmarole of doing all the tests and all selected and I joined HMAS Leeuwin in July of 77. So as a young 16-year-old it was, we just were just thrown I suppose to the wolves, had to grow up overnight. And I did 12 months in the West.

Learning all the basics of the Navy. We still went to school every day we did Maths and English and Science. And then after 12 months in the West Coast came to HMAS Cerberus over on the Mornington Peninsula and I did my basic Storeman's course and on completion of that I was posted to HMAS Watson in Sydney.

Consequently I did other postings and went to see in 1980. Did 15 months on a on a destroyer escort. Went to Noumea and Vila, around Australia and after I went to the Royal Naval College at HMAS Cresswell and I did a three and a half year posting there where I met my now wife. She was the first female cook in HMAS Cresswell. We got married. We've had three children since. My wife got out and I stayed in the Navy and eventually got out 1998 after completing over 21 years in the Royal Australian Navy. [Cresswell] was classified as part of the ACT.

So we always got the Canberra Day holidays as well as a New South Wales holidays. But yeah, I suppose it goes to show that every single state and territory in Australia has a coastline.

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