The "mateship" is the aspect Able Seaman Abbi Greenaway enjoys most about the Navy.
The former St Clare's High student was home for the Anzac Day ceremony at Taree. Abbi and with her father Craig laid a wreath in memory of Craig's cousin, Kerry Rinkin, who was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1967. It was an "emotional" occasion for Craig.
Abbi joined the Navy four years ago, straight from high school, taking the "gap year" opportunity. Her only experience on the sea prior to that was a family cruise, and watching Sea Patrol on television.
But it's a career she loves. She loves the sea and particularly the travel. Abbi is based in Perth aboard HMAS Sterling and she's visited Japan, Singapore and Korea, although COVID meant she couldn't get off the ship. She was on HMAS Ballarat when it was involved in an operation in the South China Sea and after Christmas will join HMAS Toowoomba, also based in Perth.
COVID has meant there has been limited opportunity for Abbi's family to catch up with her, however she was able to attend the funeral of her grandparents, Judy and George Schubert, who died four days apart last year, though she quickly had to return to her ship after a border closure was announced.
Abbi is the youngest of Craig and Tanya Greenaway's four children, and she is the one living the furtherest from home. Her enlistment in the Navy meant 11 weeks intensive training in Melbourne, with virtually no contact with her parents. "We'd gone from seeing her 24/7 to not even knowing if she arrived in Melbourne safely," Craig said.
Abbi's her ambition is to progress through the ranks. She completed her promotions course just before flying home.
Footnote: A memorial to Second Lieutenant Kerry Patrick Rinkin who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1967, is located at St Clare's High School. "Kerry Rinkin was promoted to Second Lieutenant six months after call up on June 30, 1965. He was Platoon Commander of 4 Platoon B Company when on April 7, 1967 he was wounded by a mine. He died of his wounds three hours later in 2 Field Ambulance, Vung Tau."
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