Italgal man proud of role in shipbuilding program

June 29, 2020 – 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 Ship Yard in South Australia.

Leading Seaman Savage joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2015, and now forms a crucial part of the Navy’s team assisting with the build of the Arafura Class Patrol Boats in Adelaide.

He joined the Navy via the Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP) in his home town of Cairns, graduating initially as a Boatswains Mate and he was awarded the ‘Recruit of the Intake’ during his course.

Leading Seaman Savage, who is a proud Italgal man from the Torres Strait, said that he never imagined the opportunities Navy could have offered 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.

“On transfer to the Electronics Technician Category, I completed my apprenticeship through Ultimo TAFE, before posting to Her Majesty’s Australian Ships Coonawarra and Broome.

“I have had some fantastic experiences serving on operational deployments and representing Australia overseas. However, one of my proudest achievements is to have the privilege of being involved in the build of the Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels, at the Osborne Naval Ship Yard.

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

“It is also important to me 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 very proud to play my small part in the overall effort.

“To be promoted during National Reconciliation Week means a great deal to me, and my family, as it highlights the range of opportunities available to other Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“It also demonstrates the broader Australian community that the Navy values our significant contribution to the Nation,” Leading Seaman Savage said.

Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Robarts, a Marine Engineer Officer supporting OPV build program, said that 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.