The return of Navy Day Victoria on October 9, after a pandemic hiatus, coincided with the 80th anniversary of HMAS Castlemaine’s commissioning in Williamstown.
The people of Hobsons Bay were treated to a wet winching display from a an MH-60R Seahawk and musical entertainment from the Royal Australian Navy Band.
An Air Force PC-21 Roulette put on an aerial display and flyover, while Navy technical trades, Defence Force Recruiting and the Australian Navy Cadets kept people occupied on the ground.
The day culminated in a ceremonial sunset on board Castlemaine, one of 60 corvettes produced by Australian shipyards during WW2.
Hundreds of visitors passed through Castlemaine during the day, getting a taste of life on the old corvette and seeing the work of the HMAS Castlemaine Association volunteers, who are restoring the ship to her previous glory.
The event was an opportunity for Navy to emphasise its strong links to the community and showcase some of the opportunities for potential recruits.
The variety of opportunities and roles on offer drew Petty Officer Michael Budden, a Melbourne native, to the Navy.
“I really liked pulling things apart and putting them back together as a kid, so the fact I can do that in this job is a real attraction – especially building fault-finding philosophies in terms of breaking systems down to work out where the problem is,” Petty Officer Mudden said.
“The great thing about the Defence Force in general – not just Navy – is that if you have an idea about some sort of technical trade or role you want to do, there’s something for you.”
Senior Naval Officer Victoria Commodore Greg Yorke said technical trades were important in Navy and the service was looking to bolster its ranks.
Navy Day was a chance to “show off some of our new technical equipment and show our community what Navy does and how we do it”.
“It’s very important in this day and age to get technical-minded people interested in careers they could have in Navy. It’s a highly technical force and the more we can encourage this, the better off we’ll be,” Commodore Yorke said.