Tuesday, January 11, 2011


A few years ago Port Maquarie’s Craig Foran, 22, was working at Price Busters. Now he's providing maritime security in the Gulf of Aden.
Image of Sub Lieutenant Craig Foran at sea
Sub Lieutenant Craig Foran
He and his 190 shipmates aboard HMAS Stuart will be returning in the middle of next year.
“In 2005 I finished Year 12 at Port Macquarie High School,” said Craig. “I began working in retail, but I’d always liked big ships and I’d always been around boats. I also liked the idea of some travel.”
So in 2008 Craig said farewell to his builder dad Ron and pharmacist mum Jodi, and headed for HMAS Creswell to become a Naval officer.
“I left Creswell as a Midshipman, the junior officer grade,” said Craig. “Since then I’ve clocked up a lot of sea-time, fixing everything into my brain that I learnt in the classroom about naval warfare and seamanship generally — and then putting it into practice.
“I’ve been to New Zealand; I’ve sailed in patrol boats on border protection, and flown to Singapore as part of a patrol boat crew swap-over. I’ve also been promoted to Sub-Lieutenant.
“But this trip to the Middle East is definitely the big one. It means I’ll get the Australian Active Service Medal, plus the Afghan medal as Afghanistan is part of the same counter-terrorism operation. All this before I even get my Four Year Service Medal.
“Aboard Stuart my job will on the bridge, helping manage the ship. I’ll be working four hours on and eight hours off.
“But in six months time, you can bet I’ll be having some time off and heading home to the Macquarie Hotel for that first beer. I’m almost certainly going to buy a house too — that will definitely keep my dad happy.”
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