NUSHIP Canberra personnel provided strong support to both current and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) last month as the Ship’s Company raised $8,500 for charity and marched for the first time as a unit in the Sydney City Anzac Day Parade.
By selling Anzac Day tokens to the community, Canberra personnel helped to raise money for Defence related charities supported by the Returned Services League (RSL) of New South Wales (NSW) such as Defence Care.
The United Returned Soldiers’ Fund (URSF), part of the NSW Division of the RSL, coordinate the selling of Anzac Day tokens ahead of the special day annually and this year requested Canberra’s help.
Petty Officer (PO) Pete Cannon of Canberra was happy for the opportunity to help out and contribute.
“We were surprised about how many people came up to us and willingly donated money, there were so many generous people."
“We found a lot of people who donated had some sort of history or connection to the Defence Force.
“The Canberra team who participated really enjoyed the morning, they approached it with enthusiasm and everyone did a great job.
“Importantly, this activity helped directly in raising funds for Defence related charities."
The URSF Campaign Manager for the NSW RSL, Mr Mel Harker, said he was really pleased to have volunteers to help out.
“Without the assistance of NUSHIP Canberra we would not have been able to raise much of the needed funds we require to assist the ex and current serving members of the ADF and for that, we are extremely grateful.
“Their efforts yesterday resulted in $8,500 being raised.
“These charities are important as they support both ex and current serving members of the Australian Defence Force in their hour of need.
“It was a real pleasure to have these young people help us as they are now the ‘new guard’ taking over from those who served during the two World Wars, Korea and Vietnam."
First time Anzac Day token seller from Canberra, Able Seaman (AB) Troy O’Sullivan said that he enjoyed the experience.
“It was really fantastic, the public approached us almost every time,”
“They were very friendly and shared a lot of stories about their family or friends’ connections with the ADF.
“It was also a great way to promote Anzac Day ahead of the day's commemorations.”
It was a significant milestone for the Ship’s Company of Canberra as they proudly marched for the first time as a unit in the Anzac Day Parade (see related article). Canberra will be the first of the Royal Australian Navy’s two new Landing Helicopter Dock ships.