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Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2013
45 MARITIME LOGISTICS COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2012/AUTUMN 2013 BY WO DAVID BEST Changing Times Over the past 20 years, the roles and responsibilities of the Steward Category have vastly changed. We no-longer provide orange juice for morning 'shakes', Stewards adopted Canteens within their core role which was previously done by volunteers within the ship's company, and the implementation of the Contract Support Program saw to requirement for close relationships between contractors and MRU, which included the contracting of a civilian TAFE (Chisholm) to train our Stewards in the field of hospitality which was previously performed by the ADF School of Catering in its entirety. Postings We are fortunate, as a Category, to have a vast amount of roles available to us and I have had the opportunity to perform a majority of them from sea service to shore. As a seagoing sailor, I have been posted to HMAS Canberra as an AB; HMAS Darwin as a LS; HMAS Melbourne as a PO; and both HMAS Stuart and HMAS Darwin as a CPO. My shore positions have consisted of HMAS Watson as a SMN and AB; Valet to Chief of Navy and HMAS Kuttabul as a LS; HMAS Watson Mess Clerk/Function Manager and Defence Force Recruiting and as a PO; HMAS Creswell Contract Liaison Officer, Steward Career Manager and HMAS Watson Wardroom Mess Manager as a CPO. All of which has placed me in good stead to fulfil my current role as the Steward Category Manager. The highlight of my career to date would be the vast amount of official functions I have had the opportunity to conduct. The responsibility of providing first class service to dignitaries visiting Chief of Navy (whilst CN's Valet), on deployment abroad whilst posted on the various ships, and HMAS Watson Wardroom, enabled me to provide my own flare whilst sharing the responsibility to ensure the 'good will' visits were successful. With the highlights also come other memorable occasions for a different reason. During my posting to HMAS Canberra, whilst in IMAV, all ABSTD's were required to paint the Wardroom accommodation doors. As an ABSTD, this was good fun but we were not aware that the fluff on new paint rollers had the potential to come off, so all doors were light yellow with a fluffy character. Needless to say, these doors needed to be sanded back again and funnily enough, the BM's were required to paint them the second time around. As highlighted above, I enjoy official functions and as Valet to CN, I had many of these involving dignitaries from foreign countries. I always tried to make each function better than the last but placing fish in cylinder shaped vases without constant air supply was not one of my best ideas, whilst still memorable. By the time main course was served, the fish began floating, thankfully fish was not on the menu. From the learning outcomes identified above, I have progressed. Firstly, I stay away from any task involving paint, and secondly, I don't use live fish as a method of presentation during dinner functions. We should all learn from our experiences and not be deterred from thinking of new ways of doing business. Appreciation My success leading to promotion to WOSTD is not only due to my hard work and dedication to the RAN, but the mentors I have had on my journey. From my first posting to my current, I have bled my supervisors for knowledge, fed off my peers, and listened to my subordinates. We have all had different exposure and in time we adopt our own flare. As a WOML-S, I continue to learn by using the above methods, and this provides me with the tools to achieve my objectives for the best outcome for the Steward community. The Steward Category is a close nit community and this has only developed further over the past 20 years. As we work together to meet our objectives using effective team work and adopting efficient leadership techniques we continue to kick goals and meet our obligations to the organisation during operations abroad and within sea readiness positions. The processes of training our sailors' continues to evolve as more efficient methods are adopted. Where to from here As the Steward Category Manager, I have been fortunate to have a role in providing continued input during Project DEMETER and the Hospitality and Catering Review (HCR). Whilst separate reviews both involve the Steward Category and provide a positive way forward to the way we do business within the RAN and wider Australian Defence Organisation (ADO). The involvement of an SME in both these reviews has been crucial to ensure the best outcome is achieved for the Category, in regards to future employment opportunities within the RAN, where we are best placed (geographically) to meet the requirements of the ADO and posting opportunities, location stability, and a Category that is both recruitable and sustainable. I am comfortable that my input, and that received from others within the Steward community have been considered during Project DEMETER and the HCR and am pleased with the outcomes of these reviews and the positive future for the Steward Category and its delivery to meet the requirements of the ADO. Conclusion Noting the vast array of employment opportunities available to members within the Steward Category , I encouraged all members of the steward Category to embrace these opportunities, broaden your knowledge base and enhance your own advancement prospects. Your postings are what you make of them and your opportunities are only restricted by your own limitations. I thank all the members of the Steward Category for their hard work and dedication and look forward to our continued success. We continue to kick goals. Steward's career milestone On 28 Sep 12, I completed 20 years of service in the RAN, so I am taking this opportunity to share my experiences, reflect on the years served, and show appreciation for personnel that have had an impact during my career thus far.