July 15 marked a significant date in the Fleet Base West calendar as it saw the official re-opening of a number of personnel-support units that are collectively known as the Wellbeing Precinct.
At the heart of the precinct is the HMAS Stirling Chapel where a number of VIPs, including Director General Chaplaincy - Navy Principal Chaplain Collin Acton and Director General Garrison Health Services Brigadier Leonard Brennan, gathered to mark the occasion.
Coordinating Chaplain - West, Chaplain Colin Tett, said after many months of building and redevelopment activity as part of the broader 3A base redevelopment project, the Wellbeing Precinct was now ready to be used by Fleet Base West personnel.
“This redevelopment was a long time coming,” he said.
“The Chapel you are in right now was erected as a temporary building more than 40 years ago, as were many other buildings across HMAS Stirling.
“The 3A project represents the major mid-life refurbishment of our base, and as you can see by the amount of work going on across Garden Island, it is by no means finished.
“However, it is a great pleasure to be here today to reopen the first precinct to be more or less finished and back in use,” Chaplain Tett said.
Chaplain Tett said despite the disruption that comes with refurbishment projects, the high level of cooperation between Defence and the many contractors involved in 3A had been outstanding.
Captain Ainsley Morthorpe, the Commanding Officer of HMAS Stirling, agreed and said the re-opening of the Wellbeing Precinct was good news for all Fleet Base West personnel and those visiting the base.
“With the re-opening of the Chapel and the multi-faith facilities it offers, Navy is recognising the diversity of our organisation, and we are stronger because of that diversity,” he said.
“The contractors involved in this project have delivered a fantastic foundation for this Wellbeing Precinct and it is now up to our people to put their personal stamp on this space and grow into it.”
The precinct will also include a Wellbeing Garden, which will offer members a quiet area for reflection and contemplation.
The main entrance of the Chaplaincy Centre contains a plaque dedicated to the memory of the late Chaplain Stephen Hutchison, who passed away early this year - the area will be known as ‘The Hutcho Portico’.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20191811.