Canberra crew scales down for charity

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Geoff Long (author), ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill (photographer), ABIS Shane Cameron (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base East, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Kuttabul, Charities, Fundraising & Community, HMAS Canberra (L02)

A member HMAS Canberra's ship's company abseils down the side of HMAS Canberra during a charity abseiling event. (photo: ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill)
A member HMAS Canberra's ship's company abseils down the side of HMAS Canberra during a charity abseiling event.

It’s not every day that ship’s company gets to abseil down the side of one of the largest vessels ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy, but volunteers from HMAS Canberra and HMAS Kuttabul did just that in the name of charity.

Thirty-three intrepid soldiers and sailors volunteered to don harnesses and abseil 30 metres down the side of the ship, from the flag deck. 

The money raised went to the ship’s charity Marymead, a not-for-profit organisation that provides support services to children and families of the ACT and Southern and Western regional areas of New South Wales.

Canberra’s Executive Officer, Commander Brett Westcott, said it was particularly rewarding to undertake an activity that could support people, while also providing ADF personnel with a physically and mentally challenging adventurous training opportunity that was also fun.

“Abseiling is a fantastic experience for everyone.

“It provides people the opportunity to challenge their fears and bond in a team experience outside the workplace.

“It develops resilience, teamwork and physical and mental fortitude.

“But, above all, it’s just great fun and offers a completely different view of the ship!” Commander Westcott said, before abseiling off the ship.

The event was overseen by Navy Physical Training Instructors from HMAS Kuttabul.

Following the event, Petty Officer Physical Training Instructors Kerryn Seaborn and Shane Murphy presented Marymead’s Director of Client Services Tracey Hall with a cheque for $3000, surrounded by participants from the abseiling event.

Petty Officer Murphy said it had been a great day for everyone and demonstrated that adventure sports, such as abseiling, were great for building morale, as well as challenging members with an activity they don’t often encounter.

“Abseiling requires a combination of communication, trust and team work, and it’s an activity we’ve run this year across Navy ships and establishments that has been incredibly popular,” Petty Officer Murphy said.

In addition to the abseiling, Canberra has conducted a number of charity events for Marymead since commissioning in 2014.

This includes rugby tournaments, auctions and community events that have allowed the organisation to continue to offer critical services such as foster care, mental health support, early intervention programs and family counselling to those in need.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20193241.

Royal Australian Navy Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Kerryn Seaborn, right with cheque, presents Director-Client Services at Marymead, Tracey Hall, with a cheque for $3000, surrounded by participants of the abseiling charity event held on HMAS Canberra.

Royal Australian Navy Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Kerryn Seaborn, right with cheque, presents Director-Client Services at Marymead, Tracey Hall, with a cheque for $3000, surrounded by participants of the abseiling charity event held on HMAS Canberra.