The Australian Maritime Warfare Centre (AMWC), commanded by Captain Guy Holthouse, has adopted ‘The Infants’ Home’, headquartered at Ashfield in Sydney as the new unit charity.
Navy’s association with The Infants’ Home has endured for more than 50 years. It can be traced as far back as HMAS Voyager (II). After the tragic demise of Voyager in 1964, HMAS Sydney (III) ship’s company stepped in to take the weight of supporting The Infants’ Home, and this action was subsequently carried on by HMAS Sydney (IV). The impetus to AMWCs’ association with The Infants’ Home emerged from previous connections between Captain Holthouse and Commander Karl Brinckmann, both former Commanding Officers of Sydney (IV).
AMWCs’ ongoing support is twofold. Fund raising is undertaken to provide much needed financial support to the organisation, and when the need arises, the occasional AMWC working party is dispatched to assist with ground and other maintenance activities at the Ashfield headquarters.
Besides a recent $500 donation to The Infants’ Home, an AMWC work parties have recently made two visits. Just prior to Christmas, they undertook ground maintenance and assisted with set-up for the home’s twilight Christmas carols function.
In January, AMWC also provided a small working party to undertake a major painting task to refurbish the ceilings of the covered play area attached to Rigby House babies’ annex. Rigby House was originally established in 1959 and is now undergoing a major renovation to focus on providing new opportunities to optimise early childhood learning and development for children 0-2 years. Six AMWC volunteers spent a day applying 20 litres of paint to the undercover play area of Rigby House with the makeover due for completion in time to re-open in February.
The Infants’ Home is an integrated childcare service that provides early childhood education, early intervention and health services for more than 2,600 children per year across Sydney. One third of these services are for children and families at risk due to additional physical or emotional needs, or because they were living in vulnerable circumstances.