Remembrance Day holds a special place in the heart of Jeremy Antao, Operations Manager for Marine Defence at Babcock Australasia. Growing up with a father who served in two navies, Jeremy’s inspiration to follow in his father’s footsteps sparked an 11-year voyage with the Royal Australian Navy.
My connection to Remembrance Day is through my father’s and my service in the Royal Australian Navy. My father was the first generation to serve in both the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), which meant I grew up around warships. Throughout my childhood, I’d wait on the wharf for my father’s ship to dock, accompany him on board on occasion, and meet his Navy mates. I’d always consider these experiences and people to be special, and I would never have imagined this connection would open so many doors for me in the future.
Shortly after my 16th birthday, I decided to follow my father’s path and started my apprenticeship as an Electronics Technical Weapons Systems Technician with the RAN. This echoed the same beginnings my father had. I spent 11 years sailing countless nautical miles to many different countries on RAN guided missile frigates, where I maintained Sonar and Radar systems, jumped out of helicopters, visited exotic watering holes (International Relations) and generally tried to keep dry.
For me, on Remembrance Day it is important to remember the military generations that preceded me and passed their learnings and experiences on to me. It is important to reflect on what it means to have been entrusted with such a responsibility. Remembrance Day is a special day when I can remember the women and men who sacrificed their own freedom and lives to protect this great country.
Here at Babcock as the Operations Manager for Marine Defence, I’m privileged and very proud to be able to continue my contribution to serving Australia through supporting the sustainment of the Collins Class Submarines. This provides me with a valuable opportunity to repay those who I served with for keeping me alive and well. I will be forever in their debt.