HMAS Melbourne lends a helping hand

Published on ABML-C Steven Bruni (author and photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, NSW

The HMAS Melbourne catering department volunteered their time by sorting clothing for the annual Sydney Winter Appeal at the Talbot Hostel located in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. (From left) Able Seaman (AB) Maritime Logistics - Chef (ML -C) Wilkinson, Seaman ML-C Kristy Bryden, ABML-C Hung Loung, ABML-C Abbie Green,  ABML-C Mitchell Lee and Leading Seaman  Ryan Wilson. (photo: ABML-C Steven Bruni)
The HMAS Melbourne catering department volunteered their time by sorting clothing for the annual Sydney Winter Appeal at the Talbot Hostel located in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. (From left) Able Seaman (AB) Maritime Logistics - Chef (ML -C) Wilkinson, Seaman ML-C Kristy Bryden, ABML-C Hung Loung, ABML-C Abbie Green, ABML-C Mitchell Lee and Leading Seaman Ryan Wilson.

Being crew of a ship in refit without a working galley has allowed HMAS Melbourne’s catering department time to volunteer their culinary skills and assist the local community.
 
One of Melbourne's Chefs, Leading Seaman Ryan Wilson, organised with Matthew Talbot Hostel located in Woolloomooloo for the Chef’s to spend some of their time assisting the organisation.
 
Melbourne's Chef’s were initially employed sorting clothes for the annual Sydney Winter Appeal. Their efforts were so well received that the team was invited to return the following week to cook and serve a BBQ lunch to over 200 of Sydney’s less fortunate.
 
After cooking and serving the barbeque there was an opportunity to interact with the guests and speak about individual life experiences and interests. Both guests and Chefs learned a lot from each other and the day was enjoyed by all.
 
Able Seaman Mitchell Lee spoke with one of the guests, Trevor, who discussed the food at the Matthew Talbot Hostel, and the experience of having Melbourne's Chefs cooking for them.
 
"The food from Matthew Talbot, I believe, is the best in Sydney and beats any 5 star restaurant in town.
 
"It is great to see the Royal Australian Navy volunteer their time to help out us everyday Australians," Trevor said.
 
Able Seaman Abbie Green of Melbourne's catering department echoed the sentiments of her colleagues when reflecting on the experience.
 
"We are grateful for the opportunity and will take away a lot of knowledge and experiences from the two days we spent working with the Matthew Talbot Hostel.
 
"I encourage not only Defence members but members of the public to volunteer and lend a help in hand to those less fortunate than us, even if it is by donating money," Able Seaman Green said.
 
Working for the less fortunate has been a confronting, yet humbling eye opener. We thank everyone at Matthew Talbot for their time and effort in improving the quality of life for those who are doing it tough.
 
The Matthew Talbot Hostel provides accommodation for a maximum of 98 men and often will have an extra 45 men sleep in the vicinity of the hostel so medical care can be provided.  
 
In addition to the accommodation, the hostel provides a primary health care medical clinic, chapel, pastoral care and counselling which is accessed by more than 35,000 men annually.
 
Clothes collected for the Sydney Winter Appeal are distributed to the disadvantaged on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
 
For more information about the Matthew Talbot Hostel please contact the Hostel reception (02) 9358 8102.