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Countdown to decade milestone marks seaman's homecoming hopes

Joseph Guenzler -

In the Torres Strait, Leading Seaman Edmund Tomsana experiences a deep connection to his birthplace on Moa Island, contrasted with the allure of urban living.

Growing up on Moa, north of Waiben (Thursday Island), Tomsana relocated to Townsville for his final school years.

Post-graduation he ventured further, enlisting in the Royal Australian Navy as a boatswain's mate.

A decade since leaving, Tomsana's yearning to return to his island roots has intensified.

"I discovered that home isn't just a place, but the heart of family and community," he said.

"I miss those days when our family ventured into Moa's bush for hunting, fishing and swimming in its tranquil creek."

Leading Seaman Tomsana serves on HMAS Choules, active near Townsville for Army Chinook helicopter drills.

His duties involve overseeing seamanship tasks and night shifts on the bridge, yet he often think about his family.

He acknowledges the challenge of being away from loved ones, despite gaining significant experience.

"During my sea service I could not attend a lot of events like family celebrations, weddings, birthdays and funerals," he said.

"But, when I see my family proud of what I do, I get overwhelmed."

Leading Seaman Tomsana often gets the opportunity to call home when out at sea.

"I always try to communicate with my family; I call them, talk to them," he said.

With his 10-year service milestone approaching in a month, Leading Seaman Tomsana is eagerly anticipating his three-month long service leave, during which he plans to return to the Torres Strait Islands.

"Family is everything. I want to reconnect with my roots, engage in bush hunting with my siblings, and join in crayfishing swims with my Dad, just like the old times," he said.

"Through the sacrifice of being away, I have learned independence, and I want to share that experience with my community.

"Everything comes with sacrifice, and only by stepping out of your comfort zone can you truly discover yourself."

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