At 17 years old, Able Seaman Lily Phillips decided to follow in her family’s footsteps and join the military.

The Lakes Entrance local is the fourth generation to serve in the ADF but the first to take on a role in the Royal Australian Navy.

“I have a long family history and connection with the ADF which drove my interest in pursuing a Navy career,” Able Seaman Phillips said.

“Since my great grandfather and great grandmother served in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War Two, there has been a constant stream of family following that service path.

“For me, I saw Navy offering more opportunities to travel the world in a greater number of roles, so I signed on the line as soon as I could.”

Able Seaman Phillips joined Navy as a maritime logistics – support operations sailor.

Her role involves providing hospitality services and support to units as part of the maritime logistics team, an environment she said she thrived in.

“My favourite aspect of the job is being involved in functions and getting to meet VIP’s, dignitaries and senior defence members,” she said.

“In my short time in Navy, I have also been involved in Operation COVID-19 Assist and joined the commissioning crew of HMAS Supply, Navy’s newest replenishment ship.”

Supply is the first of two new auxiliary oiler replenishment ships that are coming online as part of the largest regeneration of fleet since World War II. The ship commissioned on April 10. 

For Able Seaman Phillips, the commissioning meant she would finally experience life at sea.

“We are about to conduct our first-of-class trials which I am really excited for as I am part of the ship’s medical emergency team so I will be able to test my own skills in responding to incidents,” Able Seaman Phillips said.

Supply is critical support element for our region’s contemporary maritime operations and will help sustain our joint force while they actively maintain our country’s security and prosperity. 

“This aligns with exactly why I joined Navy - to serve my country and keep our way of life in Australia.”

As Supply is her first ship posting, Able Seaman Phillips said she was taking every opportunity to learn about all the departments on board.

“Being a replenishment ship, Supply’s primary role is to provide fuel, water, food and other logistics to naval unit while underway at sea,” she said. 

“It is really interesting learning how everyone pulls together to make those logistics deliveries successful. I can’t wait to see how the next year unfolds.”

You can follow their commissioning journey through the ship’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/HMASSupplyII