Creativity and humour helped Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Shannon Evans thrive amid the unique challenges of working at sea during the East Asia Deployment in HMAS Hobart.
It was the first operational overseas deployment for the new destroyer and it was Leading Seaman Evans’ first deployment.
She was well-trained for the key part of her job, having undertaken a six-month course on basic class-teaching skills, anatomy and physiology, exercise, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, and basic nutrition.
Leading Seaman Evans said she felt equipped for the job “but the lifestyle at sea certainly comes with its own challenges”.
“You have to be creative and have a sense of humour, because you never know when the elements or the ship’s program will change your initial plan,” Leading Seaman Evans said.
The ship’s company relies on physical training and sport to stay fit and keep morale high and Leading Seaman Evans took her job seriously.
“If we are looking out for each other, then everything else falls into place.”
She ran more than 20 physical training sessions a week, in addition to her standing sea fire and emergency party duties and administrative role as the Executive Officer’s assistant.
“My favourite part of the deployment was conducting a ‘swimex’ in the middle of the ocean, followed by a steel-deck barbecue – in the middle of nowhere,” Leading Seaman Evans said.
The physical training instructor put her creative energy into planning engaging sports days, including a steel-deck bin ball championship, interdepartmental sporting challenges and high-energy circuit workouts designed to keep the blood pumping and the camaraderie going.
She also facilitated ship’s welfare activities, such as trivia competitions and World Mental Health Day activities.
During a World Mental Health Day presentation, Leading Seaman Evans told the crew: “We are all out here do to a job for our country, for our family and friends back home, but we’re also out here for each other”.
“If we are looking out for each other, then everything else falls into place,” she said.
During its three-month deployment, Hobart participated in Exercises Nichi Gou Trident, Haedoli Wallaby, Annualex and Pacific Vanguard, engaging with partners from Japan, South Korea, the United States and Canada.