A Navy helicopter landed at Trinity Catholic College in Lismore yesterday as part of the Career expo.
A Navy helicopter landed at Trinity Catholic College in Lismore yesterday as part of the Career expo. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Jobs expo gives kids a flying start

THE Royal Australian Navy knows exactly how to steal the show.

It captured young hearts and minds when it "dropped in" to a careers expo in Lismore yesterday in a state-of-the-art naval helicopter.

A Navy helicopter landed on the ovals behind Trinity Catholic College in Lismore yesterday as part of the Career expo.
A Navy helicopter landed on the ovals behind Trinity Catholic College in Lismore yesterday as part of the Career expo. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

The MRH-90 Taipan comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect and is a sizeable beast with two Rolls Royce engines.

Moments after it and nine crew members landed, hundreds of students had converged on the oval outside Trinity Catholic College to get a close look and quiz crew members about a career in the Navy.

Alumni Trinity student, Chief Petty Officer Gavin Johnson, of the 808 squadron, HMAS Albatross, based in Nowra, landed yesterday with a Navy helicopter on the ovals behind Trinity Catholic College.
Alumni Trinity student, Chief Petty Officer Gavin Johnson, of the 808 squadron, HMAS Albatross, based in Nowra, landed yesterday with a Navy helicopter on the ovals behind Trinity Catholic College. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Staff from the Navy, Army, and Air Force were already stationed at the expo but the arrival of the helicopter was the cherry on the military cake.

It was made possible by former Trinity student Gavin Johnson, who graduated in the 1980s.

CAREER TIPS: Mason Clarke from Griffith University with Abby Uebergang, 17, Drew Yates, 18 and Liam Campbell, 17, all students at Evens River K-12 school, at the careers expo at Trinity Catholic College.
CAREER TIPS: Mason Clarke from Griffith University with Abby Uebergang, 17, Drew Yates, 18 and Liam Campbell, 17, all students at Evens River K-12 school, at the careers expo at Trinity Catholic College. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Chief Petty Officer Johnson sought permission for the detour as the Taipan was already en route from the HMAS Albatross base in Nowra, its home, to Brisbane for a major overhaul.

"I asked my CO what were the chances of being able to call in on my old high school, and it happened to coincide with delivering this aircraft to business for overhaul," CPO Johnson said.

Career expo at the Trinity Catholic College sport centre in Lismore.
Career expo at the Trinity Catholic College sport centre in Lismore. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

He said it was a boon for some of the 1000 students attending the Summerland Future Options Expo, as they were able to get a first-hand glance at life in the Fleet Air Arm of the Navy.

Of course not everyone at the expo was keen on joining on the armed forces, but there was plenty of other information available for students.

Leading Seaman Karen Dwyer talking with year 10 Trinity student, James Gallagher at the Career expo at the Trinitiy Catholic College sport centre in Lismore.
Leading Seaman Karen Dwyer talking with year 10 Trinity student, James Gallagher at the Career expo at the Trinitiy Catholic College sport centre in Lismore. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

This included details on course offerings from universities, North Coast TAFE and trade courses.

Local employers were also on hand to talk about job opportunities and other career options.


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