During HMAS Leeuwin’s recent port visit to Port Klang, Malaysia, members of the ship’s company offered their time and support to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) National Hydrographic Centre’s Community Outreach Program. Participation in the program provides RMN Officers and Sailors the opportunity to give back to their local community.
On this occasion, representatives from the two Navies ventured into the local community to call on a centre that provides live-in care to teenagers and young adults who suffer from cognitive, behavioural and physical disabilities, including down syndrome, cerebral palsy and hyperactivity. The crew thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage with the community on such a meaningful level. The Chief Hydrographer of the Malaysian Navy, Rear Admiral Hanafiah Bin Hassan, Hydrographer of Australia, Commodore Fiona Freeman, and Commanding Officer Leeuwin, Lieutenant Commander Peter Locke were on hand to take part in the activities.
An army of volunteers spent the morning working to revitalise the surrounding gardens by mowing lawns, weeding gardens, cleaning drains, and spending quality time engaging with the centre’s residents and staff. Throughout the activity new friendships were formed as the Officers and Sailors found inventive ways to put big smiles on the resident’s faces.
Despite a language barrier and cultural differences, the universal gift of sharing was on full display. ABHSO Jessica Gross said she was pleased to be involved in such an activity and it was experiences like this that made her proud to be an Aussie Sailor.