HMAS Penguin civic virtue at 2019 Balmoral Burn

This article has photo gallery Published on WOATV Ian Daley (author and photographer)

Location(s): Balmoral, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Penguin, Balmoral Burn, Humpty Dumpty Foundation

Members of current diving courses from HMAS Penguin at the top of the hill after the 'Hill of Hurt' event during the 2019 Balmoral Burn. (photo: WOATV Ian Daley)
Members of current diving courses from HMAS Penguin at the top of the hill after the 'Hill of Hurt' event during the 2019 Balmoral Burn.

Beautiful autumn skies greeted the 19th running of the Humpty Dumpty Foundation Balmoral Burn charity fun run, held on Sunday 26 May 2019. The crew of HMAS Penguin joined this charity event as part of their annual support to the Humpty Dumpty Foundation.

Commander Bernadette Alexander, Commanding Officer of Penguin, said “the Humpty Dumpty Foundation was a wonderful charity that provided support to hospitalised children in over 370 locations nationwide.

“It’s really inspiring when you hear the stories of the sick children whose lives have been saved through donations from the local community and events like the Balmoral Burn,” she said.

The weekend of fundraising kicked off with an auction on the Friday night, where Penguin raised $6000 from the sale of a corporate tour of the establishment’s facilities.

“We have always done well in raising money for the Humpty Dumpty Foundation through our tours, and this year was no different. We look forward to supporting the corporate day later this year,” Warrant Officer Ian Daley said.

Navy Chaplain Mark Raymond conducted the ‘blessing of the hill’ at the commencement of the Balmoral Burn, where over 10,000 competitors had gathered to accept the challenge to conquer the 420 metre Awaba Street hill.

Two members of the Basic Hydro Course from HMAS Penguin assisting with the set up of the 'Hill of Hurt' event during the 2019 Balmoral Burn.

Two members of the Basic Hydro Course from HMAS Penguin assisting with the set up of the 'Hill of Hurt' event during the 2019 Balmoral Burn.

Amongst these competitors were students of the ADF Diving School, competing in the most gruelling event of the day – the ‘Hill of Hurt’. This obstacle race not only requires participants to climb and crawl their way up the hill, but to do so while carrying a 10kg sand bag. The current course of divers also opted to carry a hawser throughout the hill of hurt event, epitomising our Navy’s dedication to team work.

Of note, this year four Hydrographic Systems Initial Entry trainees also participated in the age categories.

Balmoral Burn organiser and Wallaby great Phil Kearns was on hand to start the ‘Hill of Hurt’, and he, along with many others, were amazed at the fitness level of our divers.

“When you note the elite athletes competing today and you see how well the Clearance Divers do, you cannot help but be impressed by the level of fitness they achieve while posted to the Diving School,” Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor (POPTI) Amy Carpenter said.

Commander Alexander said the event was a real showcase of civic virtue and how Navy can really help the local community for a great cause.

“Although the Balmoral Burn race is one day, sailors from the Hydrographic and Diving Schools and the Navy Band have been helping the Humpty Dumpty Team put this event together for several days. Their efforts were a great public demonstration of what ‘Proud to Serve’ looks like,” she said.

Over the course of the weekend the 2019 Humpty Dumpty Foundation Balmoral Burn managed to raise in excess of $3 million to purchase life-saving equipment for Australian hospitals.