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Vincentia High School

Vincentia High School

Learning For Life

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Matthew Gates

What year did you graduate VHS?


Where are you working now and in what role?

I am working for the Royal Australian Navy as an Able Seaman Marine Technician. I am currently posted to HMAS Canberra which operates out of Sydney. My main role currently is an auxiliary systems maintainer. I work on various systems on board including large diesel engines, gas turbine, firefighting and medical systems, aviation and diesel fuels, drinking water etc. And the list goes on. I am also a part of the Ships Medical Emergency Team as a first responder to medical emergencies at sea.

What do you love about your job?

I had never been overseas prior to joining. I love being able to go to different countries and experience the difference in cultures. Being a Marine Technician is great for hands on mechanical and welding experiences and also gives the opportunity to gain a certificate 3 in fabrication. I also love the mateship within the navy as well as being able to represent our country in many different ways.

Did anyone at VHS inspire you to follow your chosen career path?

During my time at VHS I had no intentions to join the RAN as I only joined in January 2016, however, during my time Mr Andrews had always been a teacher I looked up to from the way he taught, his cool attitude and passion for helping students.

Did you have many challenges to get to where you are now?

Not too many challenges, but the biggest one would be the amount of time spent away from loved ones for extended times whilst overseas or away from home. At times with no reception or means of communication.

Do you have any advice for our current students?

Advice that I would give to current students is to know there is always more than one option. To try your best in everything you do, to never be afraid of failing as this will only help you grow as an individual. I have always had a positive attitude and always volunteer to help others or do the hard job. This will be noticed by your peers and supervisors.