A small gesture by HMAS Darwin back in 2016 has reaped rewards for the Navy, and brought back fond memories as she transited the Torres Strait islands for Indo Pacific Endeavour 2017 (IPE 17).
In 2016, en route to Operation Manitou, Darwin dropped anchor next to the Prince of Wales Channel in the Torres Strait and welcomed aboard family members from three members of Ship’s Company who originated from the region.
This included Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Eddie Tomsana.
The legacy of that gesture has seen with Darwin once again passing through the Torres Strait in company with HMAS Melbourne, who now has Seaman Boatswains Mate Dalamatia Tomsana aboard, Able Seaman Tomsana’s sister.
“Dala has always been a great supporter for me,” Able Seaman Tomsana said.
“She was very keen to visit the ship back in 2016 and had a great time onboard.
“When she arrived back home she told our mother she planned to join the Navy as soon as possible.”
“Now she is a Boatswains Mate on Melbourne doing exactly what her older brother is doing and she couldn’t be happier!”
Other Torres Strait Islanders who form part of Darwin’s Ships Company include Able Seaman Boatswains Mates Issac Ingui and Amber Phineasa, who also had family members onboard for the 2016 tour.
IPE 17 is an Australian Defence Force (ADF) Joint Task Group (JTG) deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, to be conducted from September to November 2017, focused on security cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief exercises.
The deployment is intended to promote security and stability in Australia’s near region through bilateral and multilateral engagement, training and capacity building.