Remembrance Day holds special meaning for Gavin Baumanis. Before joining Mercy Health as an Application Support Team Leader at Support Services earlier this year, Gavin held a number of positions with the Royal Australian Navy, serving in Australia, Asia and even Antarctica.
On Tuesday 11 November (Remembrance Day) 2014, Gavin will join three of his children Jade, James and Jared – who are also Australian Navy Cadets – at a Dawn Service at the Frankston Cenotaph. The cadets are presently stationed on the training ship Tingira, which sailed during the early 20th century.
Gavin became a Navy Cadet at the age of 12 and by 18 was a diver with the Navy Reserves. After two years he joined full time, committing to serve his country for the following seven years.
During his service, Gavin reached the rank of Leading Seaman. He was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal and the INTERFET Medal for his time spent in East Timor with the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) in 1999 and 2000 as part of Operation Warden.
The unit was responsible for restoring peace and security and supporting the United Nations Missions in East Timor (UNAMET) and facilitating humanitarian assistance.
In 1998, Gavin was sent to Antarctica on the frigate HMAS Newcastle to help capture illegal shipping vessels operating in the region. The same year he was sent to Jakarta, Indonesia during the height of the widely publicised riots in the region.
Gavin also received the Defence Service Medal, which is award for more than four years of service with any of Australia's armed forces.
"Remembrance Day, is a day of national pride," Gavin said. "A day to remember the sacrifices made by all those that did not return from active service.
"It is also a time to think about all those in uniform today that carry on in the spirit, determination and professionalism of all those that did so, before them. Lest we forget."
Mercy Health aged care homes will hold Remembrance Day ceremonies during the week, including Monday services at Mercy Place Rice Village and Mercy Place Warrnambool.
(From left to right) Australian Active Service Medal,
INTERFET Medal, Defence Service Medal