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Archive for June, 2014

New Grub, HMAS Leeuwin, 1980

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

I was probably old for a New Grub at HMAS Leeuwin… I turned sixteen in late May, 1980. We entered New Entry Division in early October.

New Grub was a derogatory name for Junior Recruits in their first three months at the JRTE (Junior Recruit Training Establishment). Wet behind the ears. Learning the very basics.

The bastardisation hierarchy at HMAS Leeuwin began with three months as a New Grub, the next three months as a Shit and, finally, three months as a Top Shit. As a New Grub weighing under 60KG this was the bottom of the heap.

Most Improved Junior Recruit, 73rd Intake

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Being handed an award by a Vice Admiral

We were standing in the drill hall at HMAS Leeuwin for Passing Out Parade practice in the Winter of 1981. We were the 73rd intake through the JRTE (Junior Recruit Training Establishment) program. Nine months at Freemantle’s (now notorious) JRTE establishment had come to a close.

I heard my name. I said “What?” I mean, who the hell was I to win an award at that place? Mr Average. Often late. Trying to be invisible had become my full time occupation.

So there I was a few weeks later at our Passing Out Parade in front of that Drill Hall. We were graduating from our recruit training in blue serge, white webbing and beautifully spit polished parade boots. Each of us brandished an L1A1 SLR (Self-Loading Rifle) in the guard. Although, some of our ranks graduated as members of the Band.

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Her Majesty’s Prison Risdon, Dec 1994

Friday, June 20th, 2014

It was on the Christmas break in 1994 in maximum security at Risdon Prison. At the time I was 30 years old. A full twenty years ago.

One of my best friends, Dennis Robert Carr, got hold of the 135 film camera that was being used to capture the prison sports carnival. He said I should try on his (current season) Giotto suit. The one his girlfriend, a sex worker, had bought in Melbourne for his trial. It couldn’t even be purchased off the rack in Tasmania. Those were heady days, indeed.

I was eleven and a half years into a sentence of the Term of my Natural Life and I looked like never being paroled. I was at war with the government. These photographs were made after nearly two years being sent back and forth from the hard yards to segregation to solitary confinement and then the psychiatric wing. After getting resentenced under Tasmania’s new truth in sentencing laws in the mid 1990s, I spent another four long years at medium and minimum security prisons working my way out of the system. Showing that I could cop shit.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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