Navy scaling great heights for kids in need

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), ABIS Sarah Ebsworth (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, NSW

Topic(s): Sir David Martin Foundation, HMAS Darwin (F04)

A group of HMAS Darwin sailors abseil down the Investa building in Sydney alongside their sponsors, to help raise money for the Sir David Martin Foundation. (photo: ABIS Sarah Ebsworth)
A group of HMAS Darwin sailors abseil down the Investa building in Sydney alongside their sponsors, to help raise money for the Sir David Martin Foundation.

Five members of HMAS Darwin’s ship’s company abseiled down a thirty-three storey building to raise money and awareness for kids in crisis on 17 October.

Leading Seaman Josh Scanlon, Able Seamen David Cox, Emily McNeil and Latisha Scott-Davies and Seaman James Knight raised over $1500 each to participate in the Sir David Martin Foundation annual Abseil for Youth event, which raises funds for Triple Care Farm.

Aside from the foundation being Darwin’s ship’s charity, Leading Seaman Scanlon said he was personally motivated to support the charity and face his fear of heights.

“It’s a subject close to my heart as one of my really good friends passed away recently due to cancer,” he said.

“After seeing how short life can be, I decided I wanted to start helping others more, to be the best that I can.”

Able Seaman Cox and Leading Seaman Scanlon had the opportunity to see the Triple Care Farm facility first hand and Leading Seaman Scanlon said it inspired him.

“After seeing how they do things, hearing some of the stories and challenges that the 17 and 18 years olds face like homelessness and drug addiction, we came away with our eyes wide open and want to help as much as we can.

“I’m terrified of heights, but seeing that the kids at Triple Care Farm have to face their fears and over come things that stop them moving on, I was able to abseil the Investa building and conquered my fear of heights,” Leading Seaman Scanlon said.

L-R: Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Letisha Scott-Davies; sponsor Grace Furguson from Maroubra; Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator Joshua Scanlon; sponsor Jeremy Grant from NAB Maroubra Saints; sponsor Anthony Richardson from Ausfit Torsion Bar; and Able Seaman Combat System Operator Emily McNeill before abseiling down the Investa Building in Sydney to raise money for the Sir David Martin Foundation.

L-R: Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Letisha Scott-Davies; sponsor Grace Furguson from Maroubra; Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator Joshua Scanlon; sponsor Jeremy Grant from NAB Maroubra Saints; sponsor Anthony Richardson from Ausfit Torsion Bar; and Able Seaman Combat System Operator Emily McNeill before abseiling down the Investa Building in Sydney to raise money for the Sir David Martin Foundation.

HMAS Darwin has supported the Sir David Martin Foundation as their chosen charity for a number of years. Leading Seaman Scanlon said the ship is conducting a number of initiatives in the hope of raising $50,000 for the foundation.

“We’re planning on running barbeques and morale boosters - like charity auctions and colouring competitions, to get family and friends of Darwin involved,” Leading Seaman Scanlon said.

“Aside from events, we’re also hoping to have some of the kids from the Farm come and visit the ship to inspire them to dream of different futures - it is really rewarding to help.”

Also taking the plunge for Navy was a team from the Fleet Air Arm, led by Commodore Vince Di Pietro, which raised over $18,000. A number of personnel from HMA Ships Kuttabul, Darwin, Penguin, Watson, and Cerberus volunteered to assist on the day.

The Sir David Martin Foundation was founded in 1990 by the much loved former Governor of New South Wales and retired Navy Rear Admiral, with the aim of helping disadvantaged young people. Sir David Martin believed every young Australian should be offered an environment in which to grow up in safety, with hope and opportunity.