Naval cadet gets heads-up on his mar­itime mis­sion

Midwest Times - - FRONT PAGE -

When 13-year-old Oliver Eas­ton is old enough, he wants to join the Royal Aus­tralian Navy.

And a re­cent eight-day sail­ing trip show­cas­ing life on the high seas has only made him much more de­ter­mined.

The Ger­ald­ton Navy Cadet went to Queens­land and hopped on board the ship South Pas­sage to learn how to sail as well as mix with Ja­panese stu­dents com­plet­ing the prac­ti­cal com­po­nent of a Young Mariners Cer­tifi­cate.

He was the only per­son from WA cho­sen to go on the trip, which in­vited Aus­tralian youth to gain sail­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and teach vis­it­ing stu­dents about Aus­tralian cul­ture.

Oliver said the Aussie stu­dents taught Aus­tralian slang terms, such as “G’day”, shared Aus­tralian food such as Vegemite, and talked about some fa­mous Aus­tralian hoaxes, such as drop bears.

The cul­tural shar­ing was scat­tered among a wealth of ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing snorkelling, bush walk­ing and knot-ty­ing com­pe­ti­tions.

Oliver, who at­tends Strathal­byn Chris­tian Col­lege, said the trip fit­ted nicely with his plans to join the navy, par­tic­u­larly as the cab­ins had beds in a struc­ture sim­i­lar to that of a naval ship.

He said he thor­oughly en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It was a lit­tle nerve-rack­ing at first, but over­all it was a good and ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Oliver said.

“It was great to make all those new friends.”

Oliver’s mother, Claire Nel­son, said the ad­ven­ture had been good for her son.

“I am very proud of Oliver and thank­ful he’s been able to have such an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence where he’s been able to grow in his con­fi­dence and de­velop some of his God­given tal­ents,” Ms Nel­son said.

“He loves the ocean and I’m so glad he got to sail in such a spec­tac­u­lar lo­ca­tion.

“It built on the skills and ex­pe­ri­ence he’s learn­ing at Navy Cadets.”

Oliver said when he grows up he wants to join the navy and travel the world.

RIGHT: Oliver Eas­ton en­joyed build­ing on the skills he’d learned at Navy Cadets.

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