More bucks banked for Keeping Watch

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), LSIS James McDougall (photographer)

Location(s): Navy Headquarters, Canberra

Topic(s): Keeping Watch, RAN Relief Trust Fund

Commander Christina Ween and Defence Bank’s Russell Branch Manager, Annie Chowdhry count the money collected from the International Women’s Day Barbeque held at Russell Offices, Canberra. (photo: LSIS James McDougall)
Commander Christina Ween and Defence Bank’s Russell Branch Manager, Annie Chowdhry count the money collected from the International Women’s Day Barbeque held at Russell Offices, Canberra.

Members serving at Navy Headquarters have dug deep for a worthy cause, raising more than $1,000 for the sailor support charity Keeping Watch.

Deputy Chief of Staff of Navy Headquarters, Captain Charlie Stephenson, said a sausage sizzle held in Canberra on 8 March provided the ideal opportunity to raise money for the worthy cause.

“Our event was timed to coincide with International Women’s Day,” Captain Stephenson said.

“We asked guests for a gold coin donation and I was particularly pleased with how our people contributed on the day,” he said.

Keeping Watch provides assistance to serving members of the Royal Australian Navy and their families who are suffering adversity, normally through non-refundable grants.

Financial assistance may be used to alleviate hardship after a crisis such as a house fire, an unexpected death or a serious illness, or provide for medical support or child care costs during an unexpected family emergency.

Deputy Chief of Staff of Navy Headquarters, Captain Charlie Stephenson (front) and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan (rear), man the tools on the BBQ to raise funds for Navy’s Keeping Watch charity fund.

Deputy Chief of Staff of Navy Headquarters, Captain Charlie Stephenson (front) and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan (rear), man the tools on the BBQ to raise funds for Navy’s Keeping Watch charity fund.

Coordinated by the RAN Relief Trust Fund, Keeping Watch is run by Navy people for Navy people.

The funds donated by staff at Russell Offices was made up almost entirely of $1 and $2 dollar coins.

“It took a little time, but no one was complaining!’ said Commander Christina Ween, the Trustee of the RAN Relief Trust Fund and Deputy Chair of Keeping Watch.

“In the end, the final tally came in at $1,028.70 – and every dollar will be put to good use, helping our people and their families,” she said.

Since Keeping Watch began in 2013, almost $200,000 has been used to grant Navy people some form of financial help.

Need help? Want to donate? Go to: https://www.keepingwatch.org.au/.