2013 proved to be a very busy year for HMAS Sydney (CMDR KA Brinckmann, RAN). The warship travelled to Hobart in the south to Busan in the North, Mackay in the East and Fremantle in the West and many other ports along the way.
Sydney also successfully completed important sea training evaluations for Damage Control and Operation RESOLUTE, conducted a four and half month deployment, including an operational embed with the United States Navy George Washington Carrier Strike Group, and was centre stage for the Royal Australian Navy's International Fleet Review.
Commanding Officer of Sydney Commander Karl Brinkmann said it was a diverse, busy and rewarding time for all onboard.
“What did remain constant throughout the year is Sydney’s yearning to help those in need.”
From late 2012 until early this year, bushfires in Tasmania caused widespread grief and devastation across the apple isle. Sydney's crew dug deep to donate and also organised a BBQ at Fleet Base East in Sydney to raise funds for the victims of the fires. Overall Sydney raised just over $5000 for the people of Tasmania.
In March, 30 members of ship’s company volunteered their time and services to assist Sydney’s ship’s charity, The Infant’s Home, located at Ashfield, NSW. The extensive grounds at Ashfield contain child care centres as well as a multi-disciplinary services centre to support a range of children and their families living in vulnerable circumstances.
There was plenty for Sydney sailors to do during the working bees as they completed valuable tasks such as painting, gardening and rubbish removal. Additionally, Sydney was able to donate $5000 to The Infant’s Home from Ship’s canteen profits as well as the proceeds from a range of charity initiatives conducted throughout the year.
Continuing the children-related theme of Sydney's charity work, a team of sailors gave up some of their leave time during a port visit to Busan, Korea to provide hands-on assistance to the Saebit Christian Nursery School Orphanage in the city.
CMDR Brinkmann said “the benefits of the painting and repair work lives on, as do the Sydney sailors’ memories of taking the time to share showbags of toys with the children.”
On the recent passage home from Western Australia, Sydney kicked off fundraising for ‘Ocsober’ with a 24 hour spinathon on exercise bikes at sea. At the time of publishing, Sydney had donated $3184 with more funds stills coming in.
CMDR Brinckmann said “Raising money is one thing, but the interaction with the people helped by our efforts over the year, really strengthens relationships beyond Navy.”