STANDING quietly in the early morning light on Anzac Day, Fijian and Australian Defence Force veteran Semesa Rocosuka reflected on the job that brought him and his family to Ipswich.

Mr Rocosuka wore two medals pinned to his navy suit; one an Australia Defence Medal and the other from serving in the Middle East in the war zone, the Australian Service Medal. After more than 20 years serving in the Navy in Fiji and Australia, it was working during the 2011 floods that helped Mr Rocosuka decide Ipswich should be a new home for him and his family, including his four children.

Fijian and Australian Defence Force veteran Semesa Rocosuka.
Fijian and Australian Defence Force veteran Semesa Rocosuka. Rob Williams

"I was part of the defence contingency in the 2011 floods. We were based at Amberley and did a lot of cleaning up around Ipswich and Lowood. So that's when I decided I would come back here when I left the Navy," he said.

Mr Rocosuka spent 15 years in the Fijian Navy and seven years in the Australian Navy. He first came to Australia in 1995 and eventually Ipswich in 2014.

"I came to study and it was sponsored by the Australian Government through the defence corporation in Fiji. That's when I fell in love with the navy. My aim was to join the Navy and I had a chance to come and join the Navy in 2007 with my family so I moved over here. I was discharged in 2014 after I joined a fleet in South Korea and came back," Mr Rocosuka said.

"I was in Melbourne when I did first training and after that I posted to the ship HMAS Caribou in Guatemala.

"I mostly spent my years in the Navy in the seas and mainly on the ship. I miss my job, but sometimes you have no choice.

"I got a crooked knee, that's why I came back."

He said when he got the chance to move to Australia from Fiji, he jumped at it.

"I am a marine technician by profession. I enjoyed my time in the defence force. It's a great defence force and a great Navy. Travelling around the world and meeting people is very interesting. I love the members in the Defence Force, it is one of the most disciplined in the world," Mr Rocosuka said.

"My children had the opportunity to come and live in Australia.. It's so nice to be part of a great nation.

"It's not just about the Defence population, it's about the whole population in Australia. We have to live together and care for one another. The defence Force in Australia has moved to another level."



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