Overseas mission ships more than hope into Aceh
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
BRAD SULLIVAN survived nearly 20 years in the navy without being deployed overseas.
That record came to an end on New Year's Eve when the Lismore petty officer marine technician (POMT) received a call to travel to Indonesia to help rebuild its tsunami-devastated communities.
POMT Sullivan, 35, left Australia aboard the transport ship HMAS Kanimbla, which will be stationed off the province of Aceh to assist the Indonesian Government with medical, accommodation and communications needs.
His mother, Robyn Sullivan, of Rileys Hill, said her son was proud to be chosen for the relief mission.
"He was up here for Christmas and he was a bit peeved that he got his holidays cut short!" Mrs Sullivan said.
"But he's definitely proud to be doing something so worthwhile."
Mrs Sullivan said the trip would fulfil her son's life-long dream of being stationed abroad.
"He has always wanted to be in the navy and I was in the navy too," she said.
"I told him to have back-up plans in case it didn't work out, but he wouldn't give up.
"He joined up when he was 16 and, other than some small jobs in the Pacific Islands, the ships he has been on haven't gone overseas."
The HMAS Kanimbla will arrive at its destination mid-January.
The vessel will remain off the Indonesian coast for at least a month.
The ship holds enough stock for 30 days, but may travel to Darwin to re-supply.