Errika Meades

Errika Meades, wearing Royal Australian Navy (RAN) formal winter uniform. She is smiling and standing in front of a war memorial made of stone with the word: “Lest we forget” and floral wreaths in the background.

“I was hooked,” she said. “I loved the environment—crawling through the submarine, learning about the equipment, and the excitement that being in the Navy seemed to offer.”

She finished high school and started university but could not wait three years to join as an officer, so she enlisted as a recruit sailor in 1987.

Errika Meades, wearing Royal Australian Navy (RAN) formal winter uniform, standing proudly and holding two award certificates: one in each hand.

“I was selected to be an officer candidate during my recruit training. I successfully passed my selection board, undertook officer training at HMAS Creswell and received my Commission from the Governor General in August 1988.”

Errika’s career as a supply officer was thrilling and challenging. Among the highlights, she remembers representing her team at ceremonial events during Australia’s bicentenary celebrations, leading logistic teams during joint exercises Kakadu and Kangaroo, and working on ship-building projects to deliver hydrographic ships, submarines and related support equipment.

“After 12 years of service I transitioned to the Reserves. Since then I’ve worked in Defence industry specialising in the design and production of military logistic systems and support equipment,” said Errika.

Today, she is a self-employed logistics consultant. She is also the lead for the Submarine Institute of Australia’s UnderSea Outreach project and works to inspire young people to consider Navy and the Defence undersea industry.

She has also undertaken Reserve service.

“I recently completed 2 years full-time as the Supply Manager of the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) sustainment office. We prepared HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide for humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations. I also served on operations in the Middle East Region.”

For Errika, the most difficult aspect of transitioning was letting go of the discipline and pride in wearing the uniform.

“The sense of pride is extremely strong when you’ve had the privilege to serve your country.”

Errika Meades, a veteran of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She has short, brown hair and is wearing a black blazer and white blouse. The background behind Errika is pitch black.

Errika’s advice to other transitioning members is to seek connection with local community, and consider Reserve service.

“It’s been such an honour to return at this point in my life and offer my experience to the next generation of RAN members. The Total Workforce System allows flexibility, with short and longer term roles all over Australia.”

“The sense of purpose and connection with like-minded people is very important to maintain. Also, stay in touch with your Defence family—these people will be your friends for life.”

Thank you for your service Errika.