House debates

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Constituency Statements

Hazlett, Seaman Brock

11:20 am

Photo of Bert Van ManenBert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On occasions, sadly, we receive sad and disappointing correspondence to our offices. Of late, I received a letter from Mr Brad Hazlett, who's very involved with the Air Force Cadets. He's a constituent of my electorate in Shailer Park. The reason Mr Hazlett wrote to me was to inform me of the loss of his son, Leading Seaman Brock Hazlett. Brock William Hazlett, or Billy, as he was affectionately known to his friends in the Royal Australian Navy, passed away unexpectedly in this sleep despite the best efforts of his wife and paramedics.

Brock was a foundation student at the St Mary MacKillop Primary School at Birkdale, and as a young man spent his weekends on North Stradbroke Island where he enjoyed swimming, fishing and found the joy and happiness in camping. He loved footy, as many young men do, and played rugby union and rugby league at school and for the Redlands footy club. At age 17, Brock commenced at Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus in Melbourne with the initial aim of becoming a carpenter in the Army. Instead, Brock was offered an aviation technician role to maintain helicopters. He took up that offer, and he never looked back.

He joined 816 Squadron of the Royal Australian Navy and was based at Nowra on HMAS Albatross. In 2019, he received a commendation from the squadron's commanding officer for outstanding achievement whilst performing the role of trade supervisor, where he played a critical role in moulding and shaping the MH-60R helicopter technicians. He soon called Nowra home and continued his love for footy there, playing with the Shoalhaven football club. Although Brock was committed to his service in the Navy, it didn't prevent him from finding the love of his life, Carissa, whom he met in 2009. They married in 2018. He was a proud father of Hannah, his nine-month-old daughter, whom he loved and cherished. Brock leaves this world a friend, a son, a brother, a father and a husband. His loss was immense and had a tremendous impact on his family.

The Australian Defence Force plays a pivotal role in protecting our nation. On behalf of Mr Hazlett, I want to thank and acknowledge all the service men and women who serve and have served our nation. In particular, he wanted me to thank the Royal Australian Navy and Commander Gerald Savvakis, commanding officer of HMAS Moreton, and chaplain Stephen Briggs, the support chaplain of the HMAS Moreton, for providing comfort and support to Mr Hazlett's family during this difficult time. 'The mateship and pastoral care provided by the ADF is second to none,' Mr Hazlett said. I will leave with these heartfelt words from Mr Hazlett: 'I hope to never forget my son and the important role that the Navy played in turning a 17-year-old boy into a man. He found what he was looking for at 17 and never looked back. May he rest in peace.'