Royal Australian Navy personnel from HMAS Darwin have helped with some much-needed maintenance work at a centre for people with intellectual disabilities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
United Voice is the first society in Malaysia led by people with learning disabilities; it was set up to help people with Down Syndrome, Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Global Development Delay and Cerebral Palsy, to work, learn, socialise and develop leadership and independent skills and confidence.
Lieutenant Commander Jeremy Richardson said Navy took great pride in being able to help the local communities it visits.
“The sailors here have volunteered their own time to help carry out maintenance work and other repairs – it highlights how much it means to all of us to be able to help an organisation that does such important work,” Lieutenant Commander Richardson said.
Lead Co-ordinator for United Voice, Yeong Moh Foong said she was delighted to have the additional help.
“It’s great having these guys and girls around – they’re professional, they know what they’re doing and they’re fast,” she said.
“We’ve been looking for a contractor to do a lot of this work but our challenge is in finding the funding to be able to pay for the work so we really appreciate what they’re doing, particularly giving up their own time.”
The crew has been painting ceilings, walls and corridors and fixing electrical items and door knobs.
Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Colin Frampton said the sailors liked to give a little back to the communities they visited.
“The guys working here today love to help those less fortunate – it means a lot to us,” he said.
Darwin was in Malaysia on her final deployment with the joint Australian task group, Indo-Pacific Endeavour prior to being decommissioned when she returns to Australia later this year.