Success visits centre for rescued children

Published on WO Justin Moore (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Sattahip, Thailand

Some of the crew of HMAS Success and kids from the Child Protection and Development Centre aftera friendly game of soccer. (photo: Unknown)
Some of the crew of HMAS Success and kids from the Child Protection and Development Centre aftera friendly game of soccer.

The crew of replenishment ship, HMAS Success had a break from military routine recently, sharing smiles with local kids during their south-east Asian deployment.

In Sattahip, Thailand, members of the ship's company visited a centre for children rescued from human trafficking rings or who had escaped from troubled homes.

The Child Protection and Development Centre in the township of Hua Yai looks after up to 60 children aged between five and 18 years old.

Maritime Logistics Officer, Lieutenant Natasha Stewart said the crew and children bonded quickly despite the language barrier.

‘It was a real honour to be able to go to the centre. Hearing some of the stories from the kids and where they had come from was a moving experience and one that I will not forget,” Lieutenant Stewart said.

“I know everyone had a great day playing with the kids and made some memories that will stay with them for life.”

Australian Navy personnel routinely undertake community engagement activities in foreign ports to strengthen relationships with regional partners. Visits deepen understanding of the cultures and nations the work closely together for regional stability.

At lunch, the children treated the crew of Success to a performance prepared especially for their visit.

Navy personnel donated essential items such as toothpaste, soap, hand cleaner and other hygiene products.

Seaman Marine Technician Ryan Smith said the experience was a valuable one for the Navy crew.

“It was the most amazing experience. Just the smiles on the children’s faces was enough to make it worthwhile,” he said.

Success
deployed to South East Asia in June.