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Q&A with a Navy Marine Technician Submariner

Who: Leading Seaman Kerry Beekman

Job: Marine Technician Submariner

What is your role in the Australian Defence Force?

I am a Marine Technician Submariner in the Royal Australian Navy. My role is to maintain the machinery and propulsion system on the submarine.

What do you get to achieve in an average work day?

I conduct preventative maintenance on different parts of the submarine machinery to ensure they are in good working order.

I also conduct corrective maintenance, allowing the submarine to go to sea. One day we could be doing routine maintenance, another we could be undertaking training at the fire ground. We also need to complete a lot of administrative work.

What training have you undertaken in the ADF?

When I was younger, I used to help my dad out working on the car. I used to want to be a mechanic. When I left high school I got a trade as a fitter, from there I ended up joining the Navy. I did my initial training at HMAS Cerberus, from there I joined a surface ship and completed some on-the-job training. I then did some more technical training, achieving a Certificate IV. That’s what’s great about the ADF, you can learn on the job and they help you get qualified. From there I went to join the submarine force where I gained my submarine specific qualifications, including an electrical course.

Aside from acquiring technical skills, I undertake first aid training, fire fighter training and damage control learning. So you learn how to deal with incidents like flooding and toxic hazards.

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What is job progression like within the ADF?

In the ADF, it doesn’t matter who you are; as long as you achieve milestones, you’ll be afforded the recognition for promotion.

What subjects did you study at school?

I studied maths at school. Studying maths has helped me with my trade as a fitter and with my electrical work.

What do you love about being in the Navy?

You make a lot of friends and you’re doing something more than just working for yourself. You’re providing a service to the people of Australia.

Learn more about being a Marine Technician Submariner and other careers with the Australian Defence Force here.

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