Khlong Toey kids onboard

Published on SBLT Max Logan (author), LSIS Kayla Jackson (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Anzac (F150), HMAS Toowoomba (F156), South East Asia Deployment, HMAS Success (OR 304)

Chief Petty Officer Benjamin Lyons, Sub Lieutenant Quaelan Brooks and Able Seaman Electronics Technician Elijah Leabres help children from the Khlong Toey slum raise communication flags onboard HMAS Anzac during a port visit to Bangkok as part of the  South East Asia Deployment. (photo: LSIS Kayla Jackson)
Chief Petty Officer Benjamin Lyons, Sub Lieutenant Quaelan Brooks and Able Seaman Electronics Technician Elijah Leabres help children from the Khlong Toey slum raise communication flags onboard HMAS Anzac during a port visit to Bangkok as part of the South East Asia Deployment.

An event onboard Navy frigate HMAS Anzac has put smiles on the faces of underprivileged children in Bangkok, Thailand.

A group of 43 children from Khlong Toey, Bangkok’s largest slum, enjoyed a tour and activities day while Anzac was alongside for a port visit during their South East Asia Deployment. The ship’s logistics team prepared a lunchtime feast of chicken nuggets, pizza, fries and chocolate ice cream for the visitors who ate in true sailor-style – seated in the Junior Sailors’ Dining Hall.

Representatives from local initiative Second Chance Bangkok accompanied the children to the ship and assisted with the day’s events. The charity helps to provide essential items and employment to the residents of Khlong Toey. Much of the work involves repurposing old items of clothing into toys, decorations and accessories.

On completion of the event, ship’s company were left with a bag of repurposed items to sell onboard, which were hugely popular. Many items were sold within hours of the visit.

Commander Task Unit and CO HMAS Anzac, Commander Michael Devine said it was a great to have the children from Khlong Toey visit the ship.

“We had about 43 ‘new recruits’ onboard this morning,” he said.

“When you see kids that are just so happy with the simple things, it’s a real two-way relationship and I think members of ship’s company benefit from that.

“One of our key objectives on the South East Asia Deployment is enhancing relationships and it’s days like this where we can achieve it,” Commander Devine said.

The Australian Government is committed to continued defence cooperation with Thailand and places high priority on our bilateral relationships in Southeast Asia and support for ASEAN.

HMA Ships Anzac, Toowoomba and Success have deployed to South East Asia for approximately three months, conducting port visits and developing interoperability with nations in the region.