William Nicolaidis
Wakka Wakka and Kabi Kabi Man
Able Seaman
Maritime Logistics Chef
Royal Australian Navy

Australian Operational Service Medal – Border Protection
Australian Defence Medal


I wanted to do something with my life, I just didn’t know what. But after doing the Defence Indigenous Development Program I decided to enlist in the Royal Australian Navy in 2017. The life of a sailor is everything I have dreamed of, and the values the Navy instilled in me have created the man I am today. In the Navy, I was exposed to a life of discipline, structure and challenge. This motivated me to develop myself personally and professionally. Through my service, I have travelled to all the major cities in Australia and overseas. I have served on HMAS Adelaide and Numerous Armidale Class Vessels, and commissioning ADV Cape Peron has been a rollercoaster, but it is one that I have enjoyed.  In some ways, I see the Navy as my saving grace. I am thankful to a CPO Chef “Speedy” who guided, supported me to achieve my goal of being a Chef – he is a forever friend. One of my proudest moments was being the personal chef to the Chief of Navy, Mike Noonan, when we were in the remote community of Baniyala in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Unlike many who serve, none of my direct family members enlisted in the Australian Defence Force.  That doesn’t stop me from sharing my naval career story to my community in the hope that I can inspire our youth to understand that anything is possible if you give it a go. For me, it was my two Grandmothers, Margaret Joy Pitt and Susan Clancy, who believed in me and supported me through tough times, always knowing the right words to say. Along with my mother, Natisha Pitt, I was constantly reminded to be proud of who I am and where I am from.

Sometimes I found it hard to wear numerous hats, whether it is being part of my community, being a partner to my spouse, being a dad for our two daughters or turning up when the Navy calls me to serve. Like the past Sailors before me, the attitude has been to  ‘crack on’ so I was always able to turn the switch on and do my duty. In the uniform, I feel invincible and able to serve my Nation and all the Nations within Australia proudly.

More than anything I am grateful to my beautiful partner Alexis, as without her love and support I wouldn’t have the opportunity to have a Naval career and a family.