Growing up in the regional port town of Bunbury in Western Australia, Able Seaman Maritime Personnel Operator Stephanie Hart would commemorate each Anzac Day at a local dawn service followed by morning tea with family at home.
For Anzac Day 2020, Able Seaman Hart will be on the opposite side of the country – off Queensland on board HMAS Adelaide as the ship completes first-of-class flight trials designed to provide the Navy with increased capability.
But whether it’s spent with her own family or her Navy family, she says the significance of Anzac Day remains a constant in her life.
“Anzac Day has always been important to our family but now that I am a serving member of the RAN it is even more important, as my family will be thinking of me,” Able Seaman Hart said.
“While I will be in Adelaide spending the day with ship mates, I think this Anzac Day will always be remembered as the one where everyone marked the day inside.”
Able Seaman Hart attended Bunbury Catholic College before joining the Navy in 2017 to broaden her knowledge and outlook.
“I joined the Navy to learn new skills that I never knew I could learn, to travel and to network with people, which is all part of the job as a “Perso” [Personnel Operator],” Able Seaman Hart said.
Her role on board Adelaide is Assistant Personnel Operator and office supervisor and she has previously been deployed for Operation Render Safe and, earlier this year, Operation Bushfire Assist 2019-20.
“The long months away from home and family can be challenging, but to know that my family is proud of me is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job,” she said.