While Warrant Officer Natasha McRoe was sailing the high seas, her little sister Warrant Officer Amy Gale was waiting at home for the postman.
“We would get letters from Tash, it’s not like now; a phone call was once in a blue moon,” Warrant Officer Gale said.
The pair grew up in New Norfolk, on the River Derwent, north of Hobart, where Warrant Officer McRoe dreamed of voyages around the world and meeting new people in far off lands.
First in the family to join, Warrant Officer McRoe enlisted in 2000 with Warrant Officer Gale following in 2001.
The experiences they have had range from Middle East deployments to Operation Sumatra Assist.
Both sisters said the engrained work ethic and empathy instilled in them by mum, Vicki, led to their success.
“A single mother of three, mum is an extraordinarily strong, independent woman, who has always supported us, including from time to time providing a reality check,” Warrant Officer McRoe said.
Nothing was ever handed to us, we were taught you have to work for what you want.
On promotion, Warrant Officer Gale took over as hospitality and catering manager at HMAS Watson, a position acting as divisional officer for more than 60 chefs, and one held by her sister three years previously.
Warrant Officer Gale said bein able to draw on her sister's experience held her prepare for the role.
With their collective 41 years of service, the sisters, who talk most days, draw upon the support of one another’s experiences.
Within the Personnel Support Unit Australia, Warrant Officer McRoe provides support to case managers and divisional officers to regional centres across the country.
Through Warrant Officer Gale’s extensive knowledge of SharePoint from her posting at Fleet Headquarters, she has been able to help her sister update and improve Personnel Support Unit’s intranet.
“We bounce ideas off each other on a daily basis,” Warrant Officer Gale said.
Warrant Officers Gale and McRoe also share the bond of motherhood, both having two boys each.
As successful women who are passionate about their jobs, the sisters hope to be an inspiration to others who want to be a parent and have a rewarding career.
“Navy is supportive and has flexible options, especially for mums,” Warrant Officer Gale said.
I work in Sydney but my family has remained in Canberra and I am able to work remotely once a week.
“Tash is able to also work remotely for Navy HQ at Anglesea Barracks in Hobart.
“We are very fortunate, we get to go to work every day loving what we do and we get to be a mum, which is the most important thing.”
Warrant Officers McRoe and Gale said their accomplishments were a result of hard work, dedication and the support of their family.
“There is no prouder moment than standing side by side with my sister,” Warrant Officer McRoe said.