Newcastle’s legacy, Choules’ future

This article has photo gallery Published on MIDN Jaqui Meacle (author)

Location(s): Newcastle, NSW

Topic(s): Charities, Fundraising & Community, HMAS Newcastle (F06), HMAS Choules (L100)

Commanding Officer HMAS Choules, Commander Scott Houlihan, presents the Newcastle Senior School with a $10,000 donation of funds raised by the ship’s company. (photo: )
Commanding Officer HMAS Choules, Commander Scott Houlihan, presents the Newcastle Senior School with a $10,000 donation of funds raised by the ship’s company.

HMAS Choules has added to the legacy left by decommissioned warship Newcastle in supporting the Newcastle Senior School by recently donating $10,000 for educational aids and new sports equipment.

The school, which can cater for up to 60 students with special intellectual needs and complex disabilities, ensures quality educational pathways through staff who endeavour to create a positive environment that encourages the students to develop a love of learning and a desire to succeed.

Choules’ Command Warrant Officer Brad Lahey was the driving force behind taking over from Newcastle in providing charitable support to the school.

Newcastle’s decommissioning presented us a great opportunity for Choules to assist the students and be involved in an important program,” Warrant Officer Lahey said.

“The men and women of Choules were eager to make a difference in the lives of children that need it.”

The ship’s recent three month deployment through the Pacific provided the perfect way to start supporting the Newcastle Senior School via the ‘Big Choules Chase’, which saw the crew run, walk, ride or row an ambitious target of 3704 kilometres, matching the distance Choules sailed from Cairns to Melbourne.

A small group of the ship’s company visited the school following Choules’ return in October, giving them a chance to meet the students and gain an insight into how their efforts would benefit the students and families at the school now and into the future.

Commanding Officer, Commander Scott Houlihan, said he was proud of his ship’s company for leaping to support the Newcastle Senior School.

“While Newcastle’s ship’s company provided great support and friendship to the students and families of the school by tirelessly fundraising to provide the students with additional opportunities to learn and grow, her decommissioning has allowed Choules’ ship’s company to continue the good work,” Commander Houlihan said.

“Seeing so many of the crew put in the hard yards to meet and exceed our daily kilometre targets during the Big Choules Chase was heartening, particularly so late in our deployment.

“Being able to visit the classrooms at the Newcastle Senior School and present the staff with a cheque for $10,000 will leave a lasting impression on our ship’s company and we look forward to supporting them in the years to come.”