The crew of HMAS Newcastle have conducted a fundraiser with a difference to support a local school that shares a strong affiliation with the ship.
The ship’s company raised $15,400 through fundraising efforts during a 7-month deployment to the Middle East on Operation MANITOU in 2017.
On a visit to the Newcastle Senior School HMAS Newcastle’s Commanding Officer, Commander Anita Sellick, proudly presented the cheque to the principal, Ms Tracey Stephens. Thirty of Newcastle’s officers and sailors also attended, including lead coordinator of the fundraising efforts, Petty Officer Mathew Hilyard.
Commander Sellick highlighted the long and mutually beneficial relationship with the school, which was formerly known as Hunter Orthopaedic School.
“Newcastle and the school have been affiliated since the ship commissioned in December 1993,” she said.
“We are happy to have raised funds to provide the school with a bus and peddle carts amongst other items in the past. Newcastle’s ongoing efforts have enabled the purchase of items which have improved the student’s experience at the school.
“This is one of Navy’s many ways to give back and support the community,” Commander Sellick said.
The school offers a range of activities to students to promote the development of pre-work skills, which include car washing, gardening and canteen.
“Newcastle Senior School caters for students with moderate to severe disabilities and we aim to equip our students with the life skills they need to be active members of society,” Ms Stephens said.
“With the money raised we will be able to make some timely repairs to our wheelchair capable bus which allows us to take the students on short outings.
“We are very grateful for the support we have received from Newcastle’s officers and sailors over the years,” she said.
Newcastle will continue her support efforts to the Newcastle Senior School as she continues towards decommissioning in 2019.