A passage exercise with Indonesian Navy frigate KRI Diponegoro earlier this month gave one sailor in HMAS Anzac a chance to showcase her Bahasa Indonesia language skills.
Leading Seaman Lodia Lockhart grew up in Darwin but learnt to speak Bahasa Indonesia from her Indonesian-born mother and the strong Indonesian community in the Top End.
She joined the Navy in 2015 but during Anzac’s Regional Presence Deployment it was the first chance she had to officially use her bilingualism.
Anzac and Diponegoro conducted a range of joint activities in the Makassar Strait, including communications exercises that involved Leading Seaman Lockhart responding to a series of questions from personnel on board the Indonesian corvette.
“I think it went well even though the military terms in Bahasa Indonesia were not something I was as familiar with, but it was good to get to speak the language again after quite a break,” Leading Seaman Lockhart said.
“I know I have some things to work on, but now that I was given this opportunity I hope to be able to use my language skills in my work more often.”
As well as speaking Indonesian at home, she studied Bahasa Indonesia in her final years of high school and used it extensively with her Darwin family and friends.
“I’ve grown up with a strong Indonesian culture. We went to an Indonesian church in Darwin and a lot of our close family and friends were from Indonesia, so from a young age I was surrounded by the language,” she said.
On leaving school, she went to Griffith University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
However, on graduating she decided to enlist in the Navy because it was something that she’d thought about from a young age.
“With Navy, I've been able to see so many destinations around the world and meet many life-long friends, so I am happy with the opportunities Navy has given me, including being able to use my language skills,” she said.
Anzac has returned home, marking the end of an extended deployment.