Aussie sailors bring joy to Korean orphans

Published on LEUT Grant McDuling (author)

Location(s): Busan, Republic of Korea

Topic(s): HMAS Sydney (IV), Community Engagement

The children and staff of the Saebit Christian Nursery School take time to pose for a group photograph with the 15-man 'working bee' party from HMAS Sydney (IV). (photo: LEUT Grant McDuling)
The children and staff of the Saebit Christian Nursery School take time to pose for a group photograph with the 15-man 'working bee' party from HMAS Sydney (IV).

In a time-honoured tradition, sailors of the Royal Australian Navy guided missile frigate HMAS Sydney (IV) recently paid a visit to an orphanage in Busan, Republic of Korea, and got to work painting, repairing and carrying out odd jobs to help brighten up the children’s day.

According to Lieutenant Matthew Snelling, who led the 15-man Aussie working bee, being able to see the smiles on the children’s faces made the day all the more worthwhile.

“While the younger ones might not appreciate the fresh coat of paint we applied to their buildings, they certainly did enjoy the show bags full of presents we gave them,” LEUT Snelling said.

“They also loved the kangaroo we painted on the wall of their playground.”

The Saebit Christian Nursery School in Busan currently has 45 live-in orphans who range in age from 8 to 20. And while they do receive some funding from their government, most comes from donations and charitable events such as ship visits.

The Aussie working bee provided the sailors from HMAS Sydney (IV) with a well deserved break from sea going routine and an opportunity to spend the afternoon ashore. The ship is currently conducting a five month deployment through Asia and around Australia. During the ship’s deployment it is embedded with the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet George Washington Carrier Strike Group based in Yokosuka, Japan. This activity is greatly enhancing the RAN’s preparation for the incoming Hobart Class destroyers.

A Korean girl critiques the creative work of a sailor's mural painting skills.

A Korean girl critiques the creative work of a sailor's mural painting skills.