Tanya joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1992 and hasn’t looked back, building a skill set that took her to Afghanistan twice. Although she is from a military family, many are surprised to learn of her service, medals, tattoos and identity as a grandmother. Her love of the sea is demonstrated by tattoos of anchors and a “zombie mermaid and sailor” which pay tribute to a mythical history of sailing and to a time when drowning at sea was a genuine risk.
The camaraderie of a ship’s crew is important: You become a big family ... In one another’s pockets 24/7. A group of you will get together … Sometimes, we get tattoos!
Tanya met her husband in the navy, and they share an interest in Gothic stories and imagery. Tanya also has a twin raven tattoo. Ravens are good luck symbols that also reference the couple’s shared love of The Raven, the poem by Edgar Allan Poe.
Photography by Bob McKendry