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Australian First $2.5m Fund To Boost NSW’s Visiting Seafarer Wellbeing

Monday, 24 June 2024 | 20:00

Seafarers visiting the state’s ports will benefit from a groundbreaking $2.5 million Seafarer Welfare Fund which will provide access to a range of critical services and programs during their time in NSW.

In an Australian first, Port Authority of NSW has banded together with the State’s two leading private port operators NSW Ports and Port of Newcastle, to deliver a groundbreaking Seafarer Welfare Fund supporting the often invisible but critical visiting maritime workers underpinning 99% of the State’s trade.

Port Authority CEO Philip Holliday, alongside CEO NSW Ports Marika Calfas and CEO Port of Newcastle Craig Carmody, announced the first five organisations to successfully secure funding under Round 1 of the $2.5million 5-year Fund during the Annual Mission to Seafarers Parliamentary Lunch also attended by the NSW Minister for Transport Jo Haylen.

“Standing here today, alongside my colleagues from Port of Newcastle and NSW Ports I am incredibly proud to be part of an industry that here in NSW, acknowledges what seafarers contribute, every day of the year, to the NSW economy and the lives of everyday Australians,” Mr Holliday said.

“Seafarers work in one of the world’s toughest jobs to bring us the goods we need and to take our exports to the world. We all recognised that by working strategically together through a five-year commitment, we can ensure the care Seafarers receive when visiting NSW is world-class.

“I congratulate the five 2024 Fund recipients: Apostleship of the Sea – Stella Maris, The Mission to Seafarers Port Kembla Inc, The Mission to Seafarers – Sydney, The Mission to Seafarers – Newcastle Inc and Hunter Workers Rehabilitation and Counselling Service (Hunterlink), on their success in the inaugural round of this Australian-first Seafarer Welfare Fund.

“Seafarers are a mostly forgotten part of the supply chain, often facing unique challenges that mean they can require much-needed respite from their demanding and often isolating life at sea during the short time they are in port.

“Many seafarers arrive suffering from the demands of life at sea, trying to deal with isolation, fatigue, tough working conditions and physical and mental health alone and seafarer support services are a lifeline.

“NSW is the only state that has initiated a co-ordinated approach to ensuring they get the support they need by providing critical fund to those charities with proven track records who deliver it.”

CEO NSW Ports Marika Calfas said the new fund enables seafarer welfare organisations to continue and expand their support offerings and provides greater certainty of ongoing funding.

“Seafarers have an essential role in transporting goods to and from our island nation, often in difficult conditions and away from family for long periods,” Ms Calfas said.

“Supporting them when they are on our shores is our way of showing them that we care about their wellbeing and appreciate them.

“We are proud to be able to join with our colleagues at Port Authority of NSW and Port of Newcastle to fund initiatives to look after seafarer wellbeing when visiting NSW.”

CEO Port of Newcastle Craig Carmody said NSW can hold its head high knowing we really take care of the visiting seafarers who facilitate 99% of our State’s trade and on whose hard work our economy thrives.”

“Seafarers’ needs range from fast access to emergency care to practical support such as access to communication facilities, transportation to and from the ports, hospital visits and sometimes one on one counselling.

By joining forces, we have created an efficient funding model where the maritime industry supports its own, which we hope will grow over the years to include contributions from many others.

“It is an efficient model that can sustain or improve key logistical services to seafarers by proven providers, ranging from communication support to transportation and recreation, assessed against clear criteria that demonstrates the positive wellbeing and mental health outcomes for seafarers.”
Source: Port Authority of NSW

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