As the nation works its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, Leading Seaman electronics technician Jimmy Savage has demonstrated a genuine commitment to Australia and the local community in his role at the Osborne naval shipyard in South Australia.

Leading Seaman Savage joined the Navy in 2015 through the Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP). Graduating as a boatswains mate, he was awarded the Recruit of the Intake. 

Leading Seaman Savage is now a crucial member of the team assisting with the build of the Arafura-class patrol boats in Adelaide.

Leading Seaman Savage – a proud Italgal man from the Torres Strait Islands – said he never imagined the opportunities Navy could offer him when he enlisted.

“After I completed recruit training, I was one of the first DIDP graduates to be accepted to transfer to a technical category,” Leading Seaman Savage said. 

On transfer to the electronics technician category, Leading Seaman Savage completed his apprenticeship through Ultimo TAFE, before posting to Her Majesty’s Australian Ships Coonawarra and Broome.

“I’ve had fantastic experiences serving on operational deployments and representing Australia overseas,” Leading Seaman Savage said. 

“One of my proudest achievements was the privilege of being involved in the build of the Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels. 

“When I look at the impact the pandemic has had on people, I realise how lucky I am to have such a stable job and that I am contributing to something so important to the Navy and the nation.

It meant a great deal to me and my family because it highlights the range of opportunities available to other Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“It’s also important that we keep the shipyard working during this time as it has such a positive impact on not only the local economy, but the national economy also.

“I am proud to play my small part in the overall effort.”

Leading Seaman Savage was honoured to be promoted during National Reconciliation Week. 

“It meant a great deal to me and my family because it highlights the range of opportunities available to other Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Leading Seaman Savage said.

“It also demonstrates to the broader Australian community that the Navy values our significant contribution to the nation.” 

Marine engineer officer Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Robarts said National Reconciliation Week was a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

“Leading Seaman Savage espouses this year’s theme In this Together, and his recent promotion is a clear reflection of this,” Lieutenant Commander Robarts said.