Christmas construction for kids

Published on SBLT Mitchell Vines (author), CPOET Graeme Cruikshank (photographer), PO Jeremy Bowman (photographer)

Location(s): Newcastle, NSW

Topic(s): Operation SLIPPER, Charities, Fundraising & Community, HMAS Newcastle (F06)

Members of HMAS Newcastle's ship's company participate on a working bee at The Hunter Orthopaedic School. (photo: PO Jeremy Bowman)
Members of HMAS Newcastle's ship's company participate on a working bee at The Hunter Orthopaedic School.

Volunteers from HMAS Newcastle’s ship’s company got into the Christmas spirit and recently spent two days taking part in a working bee at their ship’s charity, the Newcastle Senior School, formerly The Hunter Orthopaedic School.

Chief Petty Officer Electronic Technician Graeme Cruickshank says over the two days, the volunteers dug in and got their hands dirty.

“During the working bee we stripped back and painted several privacy screens, erected shade sails and library shelves and a planted out a vegetable garden bed.

“We also had the chance to spend time with the students and got to know them at a BBQ lunch we put on,” said Chief Petty Officer Cruickshank.

“On the second day, the crew handed over a $15,000 cheque, which was raised from the annual Ship’s Ball. The School Principal was also presented with the Australian National Flag which had flown from Newcastle during our recent Operation SLIPPER deployment.”

“The kids got pretty excited when I turned up dressed as Santa and handed out chocolate stockings to all the ‘nice’ children. Fortunately no coal was handed out!” said CPO Cruickshank.

Newcastle has a long-standing relationship with the Newcastle Senior School, which provides education to students with disability and additional learning and support needs.