The Defence Community Organisation’s (DCO) annual ‘Welcome to the Shoalhaven’ family day and expo was held at the Fleet Air Arm Museum at HMAS Albatross on the weekend, in glorious south coast sunshine.
The annual event provides newly arrived Defence families with an introduction to the wide range of cultural, sporting and community groups, services and activities on offer in the region, while for more established families it’s an excellent opportunity to take time out for some family fun.
A crowd of over 400 did just that, making the most of the opportunity to link in with a wide range of Defence and local community organisations and enjoy the variety of entertainment on offer.
Expo Coordinator, Lieutenant Commander Liz Waddell said there were a number of highlights.
“The Navy helicopters and the Rural Fire Service fire trucks were a huge hit, and Dusty the Snakeman and his diamond-headed python were also very popular.”
“The range of stalls also catered for all interests, with information available from financial institutions that offer Defence products, women’s and men’s health, Anglicare, local sporting and hobby clubs, Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash, local member Anne Sudmalis and a variety of local community groups.
“Feedback has been fantastic, all very positive. Families loved the day and the children just didn't want to leave and we were very pleased to have the DCO patron, Mrs Linda Hurley, come along to show her support for Defence families.”
HMAS Albatross Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Bateman said that the Expo was a very successful day for several reasons.
“Not only was it a bit of fun for the kids as they played with snakes and other animals, and jumped on bouncy castles, it was an opportunity for their parents to come and have a good look at all the fantastic services the Defence Community Organisation can provide,” he said.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20140550.