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As individual boys aged between 15 1/2 and 16 1/2 we all had the same desire to join the Royal Australian Navy and to make it our lifes career. We all sat for and passed the rigorous physical, interlectual and psychological tests put before us.
We all then received that telegram informing us of our acceptance in to the Royal Australian Navy and to a place called HMAS Leeuwin in Western Australia as Junior Recruits.
We made our way in groups, after taking the oath, to Western Australia and our brand new life. What a shock it was to be regemented, after living a life free and easy as a teenager with not a worry in the world. We all gathered over a week at Leeuwin and on the 4th January 1967 we officially marched into the Navy.There started 12 months of training and learning, make us young boys ready for a grown navy.


Training at HMAS Leeuwin was varied to say the least. As all had not finished school in the true sence, we had History, geography, Maths, English and these were complemented by Navigation, Seamanship, and other naval subjects.
Sports also played a big part in our activities as did Parade ground training, rifle drill and others. The life style was so different but so exilerating at the same time. There were 200+ boys in the intake and these were split into six divisions for the purpose of training and sport. It instilled a comraderie that is still evident today, 40 years later.
There were four very different layers to the establishment. When we started we were called 'JR2's' but we were still the lowest of the low. After three months we were upgraded but still were 2's. After six months we got to the heady heights of 'JR1' and with that can untold privilages and wealth. Our pay increased from $10 per fortnight to $12 per fortnight. Not that we needed for much, but two dollars was a lot to us young ones. The actual pay was more, but that was all that we were allowed.
With the passing of three months, we were suddenly allowed out on some weekend, but had to be back on board early, unless you had a sponsor that passed the inspection of the Padre. Lucky ones that got to stay overnight.
For those that did not stay overnight it was still fun. We got to spend weekends on Rotnest Island.. Those were grand days indeed. The trip in the work boat and then the camping in the barracks there. All the while we learnt more of the Navy and how to act in it. Some did day trips on ships that visited or HMAS Diamentina out of Freemantle.
At the end of the twelve months we had our passing out parade and ball and then it was into the fleet to be real sailors and see the world Before being sent into the fleet we were graded into branches, which was what most of us spent our time doing. That is, marine engineering, electricl and electronics, aviation, seaman, store, writer etc. This was the culmination of twelve months hard work and study. We so looked forward to the fleet and real ships at last.

The Fleet

AHH the fleet, what a thrill to be posted to our first sea billet and to actually arrive and be onboard a real sea going ship.

The intake was dispersed over a wide range of ships with some doing the trips to Vietnam on either HMAS Sydney or one of the gun line ships. Many never actually got to Vietnam, but still to be at sea on a ship was what it was all about. After about six months at sea the majority of the intake went on to do their rate training at the various training depots around Australia. We believe that we were better sailors for the pre-sea going training that we received at HMAS Leeuwin.

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State Representatives

I have endevoured to have representatives in each state so that members of the 18th Intake can talk to some one close, as in , in the same state, about the issues that concern us all.

Also to keep members informed on upcoming events and happenings and to answer questions in relations to those events.

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