Mengui Ahmat
Wagadagam, Mabuiag Island, Torres Strait
Leading Seaman
Hydrographic Surveying
Royal Australian Navy

Medals and Awards
Australian Operational Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal
Level 3 Group Commendation
US Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Commanding Officer Commendation


My name is Mengui Mairu Ahmat and I am a proud Torres Strait Islander from Mabuiag Island in the Torres Straits. I come from a big family having four brothers and four sisters. I grew up on Thursday Island in the Torres Straits where I did all of my primary schooling. All my secondary schooling was at Saint Augustine’s College in Cairns, Queensland.

I come from a family of strong interpersonal and spiritual relationships where we have been taught that families extend beyond immediate, where spirituality is rich and is one of the main driving factors in our lives, the connections we feel and how they guide us. Everything in life happens for a reason and the lessons they teach us, if we are paying attention to them, can be very profound and has the potential to reveal to us what our purpose is.

Me, my siblings and our extended families are very close as we have always been taught that family is the most important thing in life. We value respect and always try our best to show humility in every circumstance and situation. I come from a history of hunters and gathers where the tribe and community will look after every one within it. A community of cultivators who always chose to disadvantage themselves in order to help the less fortunate.

I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2008 and the main reason was because I come from the saltwater people and if I was to do something I want it to be by or on the sea which made Navy an obvious choice. I have spent most of my career posted to HMAS Cairns where the Hydrographic fleet is stationed. This helped me maintain family connections and created a great level of stability for me. In my 15-year career 11 of those have been on sea going vessels HMAS Leeuwin, Melville, Shepparton and Mermaid. I’ve been to the South Pacific and seen some exquisite places. Being in the Hydrographic Force I have had the opportunity to camp and do exercises on some of the most pristine and untouched locations.

The Navy has helped me develop many skillsets that I would’ve never been exposed to outside of the Defence Force. It has taught me to adapt to uncomfortable changes and helped me developed a level of resilience that I believe is very high. It has demonstrated to me the differences in cultures and traditions and how they can integrate with each other to achieve great things.

The opportunities I see and manifest for myself because of the lessons and teachings I’ve been exposed to in and outside of the Defence Force has been nothing short of amazing. The potential for growth and achieving greatness is within my grasp, and I would like to thank all the contributing factors, my family, people, the Navy and most importantly, “life”.



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