News

Rocky sailor leads lawsuit after 5 years of broken promises

DISAPPOINTED SAILOR: Clayton Searle is leading a lawsuit, along with 200 other sailors, against the Australian Navy after completing five years of service and not receiving a Cert IIII in Engineering as allegedly mentioned in his contract. INSET: Clayton performing his duties.
DISAPPOINTED SAILOR: Clayton Searle is leading a lawsuit, along with 200 other sailors, against the Australian Navy after completing five years of service and not receiving a Cert IIII in Engineering as allegedly mentioned in his contract. INSET: Clayton performing his duties. Chris Ison Rokcnavy

WHEN Rockhampton's Clayton Searle signed up to the Royal Australian Navy in 2011, he thought he'd return home four years later with an experience of a lifetime and a qualification in engineering.

But after five years of alleged broken promises and no qualification in sight, the 23-year-old left the Navy and is now the lead applicant in a lawsuit against the very organisation he signed up to as an 18-year-old sailor.

For the past 18 months, Clayton and 200 other Navy sailors have been putting together a case against the defence force organisation after they were promised certain qualifications in their contract that the Navy has not upheld.

Clayton had always wanted a trade and thought he'd have the best of both worlds when he signed up to the Navy.

"When I signed on in January 2011 I was signed under a contract that said I would receive a Cert IV in engineering in a four-year time span," he said.

"That's why I joined because I thought the idea of the Navy was pretty cool, serving the country, travelling and coming out with a trade. I, along with many others, have a contract in black and white that says on this date four years later we will receive a Cert IV in engineering."

Two years into his service Clayton started to get concerned when he had completed little to no engineering training.

"I hadn't received any training or enough training that would qualify me in another two years' time," he claimed.

"I, and 50 other sailors, always asked what was happening with our training and each time we'd be told that we'd be getting a visit from higher up in a few weeks' time. When that time came we were told they were in the process of making us these new courses and that we'd come out with a Cert III which is a lesser qualification than the certificate we were promised.

"I was made to sign a variation contract from a Cert IV to a Cert III when a guy came into the classroom saying that the Cert IV wasn't happening anymore. Even if I'd gotten the Cert III it wouldn't have been worth the paper it was written on as I would have had to do excess training as a civilian to gain the full qualification."

Clayton, who spent the past two years battling pirates out on the waters of the Middle East, left the Navy after five years of service and returned home to Rockhampton a month ago. He's been looking for work ever since.

"It's so frustrating because I joined to get a trade and I would have had it by now," he said.

"I'm 23 and I've got hardly any qualifications. I'm struggling to find a job and that's why we all want the compensation but at the end of the day the compensation isn't going to help the fact that I, along with 200 other people, am still four years away from a trade.

"I've only got a Cert II in Engineering and a Cert II in Transport and Distribution which you can do at TAFE in a week. I'm all for people joining the Navy but what you see on TV is not what happens in real life."

A Defence spokesperson said the Navy was "aware of the concerns raised by some current and former marine technicians, who joined the Navy under the Marine Technician 2010 Career Continuum, and has engaged with those affected".

"The Navy's position is to solve this training issue," the spokesperson said. "Unfortunately, as a result of the legal proceedings being commenced, the Navy is unable to comment further."

Topics:  lawsuit qualifications rockhampton royal australian navy



Where to find the best coffee

COFFEE snobbery is at an all-time high in Australia with the hipster movement carving a whole new breed of caffeine-loving consumers.

10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

Send yourself on a scavenger hunt around Brisbane to discover the incredible street art.

GET your phone and selfie-stick ready!

Where you need to be for the best live music

Don't miss these venues next time you're in Brisbane!

This city has a whole lot of places you need to check out.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

The CQ town that didn't have a hot, dry summer

RAINFALL: The image on the left is the average summer rainfall throughout Central Queensland based on a 30 year climatology from 1961 to 1990 compared with the image on the right which is the average rainfall from 2016 though to 2017.

It's official: CQ records hot, dry summer

Trial win over last year's champs has TCC raring to go

The TCC AFL girls prepare to take the field at the Brisbane Lions-Collingwood game.

Girls gets taste of the big time at Brisbane Lions women's game

Open mic night has last show on Saturday night

Tony Blez performing at Allsorts held at The Workshop.

Allsorts is set to take a well deserved break after over two years

Local Partners

Open mic night has last show on Saturday night

Allsorts is set to take a well deserved break after over two years of showcasing Rockhampton's diverse talent


Feeling Lucky?

Win $1000 worth of Scratchies
Learn More

Everything you need to know about Nitro Circus's regional show

Oakes Oval in Lismore will host the sell-out, worldwide phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live during its 15-city Australian tour in April.

World famous high octane show coming to Browne Park

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Where you need to be for the best live music

IF YOU’RE into music, this city has a whole lot of places you need to check out.

MKR recap: The secret ingredients to longevity and success

It’s chilli con carnage on MKR.

‘Turn up the heat’ means chillies. Lots of chillies.

MOVIE REVIEW: Logan doesn't pull any punches

THE WOLVERINE: Hugh Jackman in a scene from the movie Logan.

Gritty, real performances worth the gore in new X-Men movie.

Booval boy keeps winning over bride

BUILDING A BOND: Alene Khatcherian and Simon McQuillan are still going strong on Married At First Sight.

Alene Khatcherian and Simon McQuillan are still going strong

WATCH: I'm A Celebrity's 'most dangerous’ jungle test yet

Jonathon ‘J. Mo’ Moran testing the Riding High Tucker Trial on set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Lisa Curry will take on reality show's ‘most dangerous’ Tucker Trial

MOVIE REVIEW: Miss Sloane is entertaining and smart

Jessica Chastain in a scene from the movie Miss Sloane.

JESSICA Chastain is superb as formidable lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane.

Walter Reid heat's up this month

GALLERY EXHIBITION: Abstract landscape image on display as part of Heat exhibition in March.

Visit the Walter Reid Cultural Centre's latest art exhibition.

Southern investors eye off Allenstown property

The Allenstown Childcare Centre will go under the hammer next month through Burgess Rawson.

AN Allenstown childcare centre has hit the market.

Old fireman's hall to make way for Maccas carpark

Workers remove the roof from the old firemans hall in Limestone Street in preparation for its demolition to extend the McDonald's carpark.

Demolition workers move in on Limestone St property

Major coast development will drastically change CBD streetscape

36 Mary St Yeppoon concept development proposal plans.

Up market coastal building complex to answer local demand

Major Burrum Heads development to go to vote

Site development plans for the proposed lot conversion at Burrum Heads, near Beach Dr.

Councillors will vote on the lot conversions.

Casino boss loses $4m on waterfront Sunshine Coast home

The owner of this stunning Noosa home accepted much less than he had initially wanted for the home.

When illness struck owner forced to try and cash out of property

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!