Tobruk sailors rolling up their sleeves in the Philippines

Published on SGT Dave Morley (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Location(s): Ormoc, Philippines

Topic(s): Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR), HMAS Tobruk (II)

Officers and sailors from HMAS Tobruk help clean up a local Ormoc school as part of the Australian Disaster relief effort for Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST. (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Officers and sailors from HMAS Tobruk help clean up a local Ormoc school as part of the Australian Disaster relief effort for Operation PHILIPPINES ASSIST.

As the recovery operation continues, the crew of HMAS Tobruk eagerly put their hands up for a number of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) tasks around Ormoc over the weekend of 30 November-1 December.

Their first task was a clean up of New Ormoc City National High School where they were gladly welcomed by the principal Imelda Amodia.

Ms Amodia said she was very grateful that Australian sailors and soldiers had chosen her school for their clean up effort.

“School goes back on Monday after the vacation and before the Australians came we didn’t know what we were going to do,” she said.

“They have made such a difference it will be easy for us to encourage the students to come back to school.”

Seaman Peta Large said she felt it was important for the Australian Defence Force to help the Philippines people.

“Being a privileged country it’s important we offer our resources when things like this happen,” she said.

Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics Supply Chain sailor Erik Catada, who arrived in Australia from the Philippines nine years ago, said if Tobruk had not come to the Philippines, he would have volunteered to join whatever ship did come.

“I feel blessed to be able to come back and help,” he said.

“I am very thankful to be able to give something back to my old country in a small way.”

Ship’s Warrant Officer Col Mackenzie said he was pleased with the way the sailors were working.

“They’re doing a top job here; they’re working well alongside the Army, and they’re getting a difficult job done,” he said.

Leading Seaman Erik Catada assists the people of the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

Leading Seaman Erik Catada assists the people of the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.