Not without my family!

Dave Forrest from Australia just couldn’t get the idea of volunteering as school principal on the world’s largest civilian hospital ship out of his mind.

He had earlier withdrawn his application for a position as a teacher when he found out his family wouldn’t be able to go with him, but if he took the school principal’s job his family could go too.


His wife Justine encouraged him to re-apply and he even had a phone interview before he suddenly thought he had better read the detailed job description he had been sent. What he hadn’t noticed earlier was that the minimum term for a school principal on board was THREE YEARS!!!

He nearly fell off his chair, “3 years!” he exclaimed, but to his surprise it only took him and his wife three days to decide to uproot their three teenage daughters and prepare for this great adventure. The next 100 days before they left were not quite so easy, as they had to say goodbye to many friends and family, and it was especially hard when it came to say farewell to their oldest daughter Chloe who would stay behind in Australia to attend university.

The death of a close friend and a last minute knee surgery meant that the last days before they left were full of stress and emotions. Now after 5 months on board Dave is really happy they took a risk and made the move. He says, “I really like the way that in such a professional organization the patients and the crew are still really cared for”. And we say in true Aussie style, “Good on ya mate”!