Penguin feels the burn for charity

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), WO John O'Brien (photographer)

Location(s): Mosman, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Penguin, Balmoral Burn

Penguin Commanding Officer, Commander Ian Campbell, running up Awaba Street, Mosman, with Dougall.
 (photo: WO John O'Brien)
Penguin Commanding Officer, Commander Ian Campbell, running up Awaba Street, Mosman, with Dougall.

Personnel from Sydney base, HMAS Penguin, helped raised $10,000 for sick children during the gruelling Balmoral Burn foot race recently.

The 420-metre walk or sprint, up Awaba Street in Mosman, a 30 per cent incline, attracts more than 8000 participants each year and raises money for the Humpty Dumpty Foundation.

Penguin Commanding Officer, Commander Ian Campbell, set the pace, completing the challenge twice: once in the men's open event and later in the pet and owner category with his dog, Dougall.

"I enjoyed competing, although not so much at the 300 metre mark! I can confirm the hill of hurt really is the hill of hurt," Commander Campbell said.

Penguin donated to the charity 10 seats at a Commanding Officer's lunch, which included a tour of the base's Dive School, the Recompression Chamber, Medical School and Submarine Underwater Medicine Unit. Organisers auctioned off the spots at $1000 each.

It was the fifth consecutive year Penguin had supported the Balmoral Burn.

"As the only remaining military presence on Middle Head, Penguin is fortunate to enjoy the strong support of the local residents and business people," said Commander Campbell, who assumed command of Penguin in January this year.

"I was proud to continue that tradition this year and it was great to see Navy, Army and Air Force personnel at the Balmoral Burn, and prior to the event assisting organisers to set up."

Corporal Joshua Saye and Warrant Officer Class 2 Aaron Matthews from the Army Dive Wing, walked the race in combat uniform, each carrying a 30-kilogram backpack.

Corporal Saye said it was great to be part of a community event that raised money to buy medical equipment for children's hospitals throughout Australia.

"I could have run the whole way, but I didn't want Warrant Officer Matthews to look bad," he added.

Penguin supports a number of community and charity events, including the Balmoral Swim for Cancer, the Cancer Council Relay for Life at Manly, the Mosman Festival, the Sir David Martin Foundation, and White Ribbon Day activities.