While others were looking for chocolate this Easter, HMAS Newcastle sailors, Able Seaman Maritime Logistics – Chef Bronte Whiley and Able Seaman Maritime Logistics – Chef Kathleen Hazeldene were looking for support, for their shave-all for cancer research.
The World’s Greatest Shave supports Australians with blood cancer and funds vital research through the Leukaemia Foundation. Both members have been touched personally by the disease. Able Seaman Hazeldene’s mother is currently in remission from a form of leukaemia and, while growing up, Able Seaman Whiley lost a friend to Leukaemia who was only 13 years old.
Their recent fundraising efforts culminated in shaving off their hair on Good Friday while at sea onboard HMAS Newcastle.
The honour of shaving the two chefs’ heads was awarded to the two personnel onboard who’d made the largest single donation. Petty Officer Marine Technician Don Blackley donated $150 and Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics – Chef Kirsten Wilson donated $125. The runners up who donated the next highest amounts of $120 by Able Seaman Maritime Logistics – Supply Chain Nicholas Hearne and $100.05 by Leading Seaman Kristy Clark, kicked off the event by receiving the privilege of cutting off both participants’ ponytails.
With the ponytails cut off, it was time for Petty Officer Blackley and Leading Seaman Wilson to shave the remainder of the chefs’ hair to a ‘number two’ clipper length all over.
Leading Seaman Wilson seemed to revel in shaving her work mate’s head for the cause.
“This is so much fun!” she said.
Petty Officer Blackley was an old hand at the manoeuvre.
“This is just like shaving my own head,” he said.
While her head was being shaved, Able Seaman Whiley said the de-locking was a weird feeling.
“It feels nice but I wish I didn’t bring as much shampoo as I did,” she said.
Raising over $1700 for the Leukaemia Foundation to date, their overall aim is to raise over $2000 by the time HMAS Newcastle arrives at Fleet Base West on her way to deploy to Operation MANITOU in the Middle East.
The money will go towards research to find better treatments and cures for leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders, and will also support families when they need it most, providing patients with a free home-away-from-home near hospital during their treatment.
HMAS Newcastle and her ship’s company of 230 were farewelled from Fleet Base East in Sydney on 1 April, bound for Operation MANITOU in support of international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region. This will be Newcastle’s fifth deployment to the region and the 60th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy Fleet unit since the first Gulf War in 1990.