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Meet Gillian Malouw, the first woman in Africa to navigate a submarine

4 July 2020 12:48 PM
Tags:
SA Navy
gillian malouw
Submarine Officer

Lieutenant Gillian Malouw is the first woman submarine officer in Africa. She opens up about her life in the navy.

Malouw is a lieutenant in the South African Navy and is based at the Simon’s Town naval base.

The 29-year-old navy officer took the plunge and enlisted in the navy ten years ago.

She's now the first female officer in Africa to navigate a submarine, the SAS MANTHATISI, a heroine-class submarine.

Malouw says here interest in the maritime industry was piqued at a young age when she enrolled in the SA Sea Cadets as a teen, and she's never turned back.

I was exposed to the Navy from when I was in grade 7... For me, it just seems like an easy transition from being a sea cadet and going to the Navy after school.

Lieutenant Gillian Malouw, Submarine officer - SA Navy

From a societal point of view, anything in the armed forces is generally viewed as a career for men. That's the first barrier that you need to get over.

Lieutenant Gillian Malouw, Submarine officer - SA Navy

But, I think everyone who qualifies on board a submarine automatically gains respect because of the mere fact that they've gone through so much... to get the coveted dolphin badge that we're awarded at the end.

Lieutenant Gillian Malouw, Submarine officer - SA Navy

It's time-consuming, it's psychologically demanding, but it's very rewarding at the end.

Lieutenant Gillian Malouw, Submarine officer - SA Navy

Malouw says she has been overwhelmed by the recognition for her accomplishments and says she still has a lot more she wants to achieve.

She chats to Sara-Jayne King about her career path, her future aspirations, and what life on board a submarine is like.

Listen to Gillian Malouw open up about her journey:


4 July 2020 12:48 PM
Tags:
SA Navy
gillian malouw
Submarine Officer

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