Posted: 14 June 2017

“Year 10 students from Wonthaggi Secondary College recently had the privilege to experience a day at Cerberus. This is a popular excursion with the students and there is always strong demand. This year the excursion was offered solely to our Year 10 cohort. Eighty students immediately expressed interest in attending. Luckily, we were able to offer this experience to forty-five of these students.  Of the forty-five who made the ‘final cut’ only one student did not attend; and this was due to illness. Further evidence of the program’s popularity was the large number of enquiries from Year 11 and 12 students who also wished to attend.

The Naval Gazing Program allows students to see the wide variety of career pathways on offer through the Navy and the Defence force in general; there is literally, something for everyone. The tour takes students through a number of different departments which allows them to experience and observe a wide range of career options. The Navy personnel who speak to the students are generous with their time and often give a personal perspective to a career in the Navy. By seeing the different Navy Schools in action, students gain a unique insight into the inner-workings of each department. This was particularly evident in the Engineering School where our students were guided through the various aspects of this department.

The Recruit School offers a unique opportunity for our students to see what daily life is like for recruits during their 11-week training program. It is interesting to see their living quarters, execute marching exercises and other training drills. This year, we were able to watch recruits in their first week of training and another group in the latter stages of training; the difference between the two groups was immediately evident and the students could readily see the transformation.

Tours of the recreation and sporting facilities of Cerberus is an interesting aspect of the day. Students see the facilities and get an understanding of the focus on sport and fitness in the Navy. Students hear about the multiple offerings of sports available and the opportunities for travel associated with sport.  Having a ‘pep talk’ from the ever-enthusiastic PTIs is always a highlight.

The Navy provided transport to and from the venue which represents a big cost to any school excursion. So too, is the cost of lunch. To offer the excursion to our students at no cost allows all students to attend. Wonthaggi is a low socio-economic area so the cost of excursions can put pressure on some family budgets. Lunch in the junior sailor’s mess is a treat and adds to the ‘real life’ experience. Our students appreciated the hearty hot meal provided. Students were also very thankful for the souvenir handed out at days’ end.

Students are very lucky to be able to experience a day at Cerberus. The feedback from the students this year was extremely positive. We are very thankful of the generosity and hospitality offered by all personnel at Cerberus. Staff are approachable, knowledgeable, open to questions and very generous with their time.

The Naval Gazing Program is a highlight on the excursion calendar at Wonthaggi Secondary College. We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to offer this experience to our students.”

Michael Owen

Wonthaggi Secondary College

This program is an annual event co-facilitated by SGBCLLEN

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