AMWS Latest News 2022
Merchant Navy Day. 3rd September 2022 - AMWS Chair, Mr David Parmeter reflects on the occasion.
Merchant Navy Day is commemorated each year on 3 September. This is the anniversary of the first merchant marine sinking of World War II.
On this day we reflect on the important role merchant mariners have played during wartime, serving in the face of danger and under challenging circumstances.During the World Wars and the Vietnam War, Australian merchant ships and their civilian crew have been responsible for transporting service personnel, supplies and equipment. Some vessels were converted to military hospital ships for wartime service. Unlike naval warships, vessels in the merchant navy were often unarmed. This left them exposed to attack from the enemy, both in foreign waters and closer to the Australian coastline.
The Australian War Memorial estimates that over 800 Australian merchant mariners died serving the Allied cause during the World Wars. On this day, we honour them and their fellow mariners.
In paying our respects to those who have gone before us, it is important to acknowledge the ongoing contribution of today’s seafarers, particularly as the world slowly emerges from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We should all treat Merchant Navy Day as an opportunity to thank those seafarers who made sacrifices in the past and continue to make a vital contribution today.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority. 10th August 2022.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has just released its Port State Control Australia 2021 Report.
AMSA Executive Director of Operations, Michael Drake, said the authority’s reputation for having a zero-tolerance approach to non-compliance with internationally agreed standards, continued to have a positive influence on the quality of ships being brought to Australia.
A copy of the report can be accessed by clicking on the photo link at left
The AMWS and Sydney Cove Rotary Club Trevor Howarth Memorial Sail Training Scholarship's most recent recipient Zoe set sail yesterday on the STS Young Endeavour. 7th August 2022
The photo at left shows Zoe (sponsored by the Salvation Army), being farewelled from the former Submarine base at Neutral Bay by AMWS Councillors Captain Alan Tait and Mr Graham Lightfoot.
Zoe's voyage will take her from Sydney to Brisbane.
Funding for the voyage is provided jointly by the Sydney Cove Rotary Club and AMWS.
Ian McKinnon, retired AMWS Councillor, passed away July 2022
The Australian Mariners Society is sad to report the recent passing of its long serving Councillor, Mr Ian McKinnon.
Ian served as a Councillor for 27 years, including 20 years as Treasurer of AMWS and its predecessor, the Sydney Sailors Home. Ian retired from the Council in 2014.
At the time, the then AMWS Chairman Captain Alan Tait, commented
"After some 27 years of service to AMWS, our long term stalwart Mr Ian McKinnon has decided to ‘swallow the anchor’. Ian’s wise counsel ensured we confidently weathered the storms of both internal and external crises and the strong financial situation the Society now enjoys is due to his stewardship of our financial affairs.
Ian will be sadly missed".
Ian’s funeral will be held at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium on Tuesday 9 August 2022 at 2pm.
Some good news for seafarers. Global piracy and armed robbery incidents at lowest level in decades. IMB June 2022
The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) received the lowest number of reported incidents for the first half of any
year since 1994.
IMB’s latest global piracy report details 58 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships – the lowest total since
1994 – down from 68 incidents during the same period last year. In the first six months of 2022, IMB’s Piracy Reporting
Centre (PRC) reported 55 vessels boarded, two attempted attacks and one vessel hijacked.
Port Community united at Mission to Seafarers Inaugural Luncheon. 11th July 2022
MTS Press Release
At the end of a week that saw the dramatic rescue of the bulk carrier MV Portland Bay, more than 165 Sydneysiders gathered to ensure long-term support for the Mission to Seafarers and seafarers visiting local ports.
Speakers at the well attended event acknowledged how the MV Portland Bay had highlighted the dangers of seafaring....
Keynote speaker, AMSA Executive Director Operations Michael Drake also spoke about the challenges facing seafarers and the importance of the continued support that Mission to Seafarers provides.
Day of the Seafarer: 25th June 2022
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) will be celebrating the 2022 day of the seafarer on 25th June 2022 . This year’s theme is ‘Your voyage – then and now, share your journey’ and focuses on the changes that seafarers are seeing in their career paths and work environments..
Watch the IMO Secretary Generals video message by pressing the link below here to edit.
Australian Seafarers Welfare Council Sydney Meeting: 22nd June 2022
Representatives from AMSA, ITF, MTS, AOS, ATSB, HL, Tas Bull Foundation, Rightship, HRAS, CLIA and AMWS attended the recent ASWC meeting in Sydney. Agenda items discussed included 1. ASWC Website performance, 2. MLC Complaints & Incidents, 3. Sustainable Funding proposal, 4. ITF, MTS, AOS Updates, 5. STC Outcome - proposed amendments to the MLC, 6. Regional PLC's, 7. ASWC Website redevelopment, 8. "Port Visitor" website.
Crew Welfare Week, Safety4Sea Virtual Event 21st to 25th June 2022
Safety4Sea is also hosting a series of online events from 21-24 June 2022, culminating in Seafarer Day on 25 June, under the title of Crew Welfare Week.
Industry wide participation is expected in an event calendar in the range of 15-20 sessions, several keynotes and best practices to be shared. This is a NON PROFIT event expected to attract a target group from Ship Operators, Manning Professionals, Crew Related service providers & Shipping related audience.
Registration and participation is free via the link below.
Newcastle Remembrance Service 4th June 2022
On Saturday 4th June 2022 I had the honour to represent AMWS at a Memorial Service For Merchant Mariners Lost in time of war. The venue was the Mission to Seafarers centre in Wickham, Newcastle.
The Service is a significant event for the Newcastle maritime community. This years event was extremely well attended with local MPs from Federal and State Parliament present as well as representatives of Newcastle Council, unions and industry. A number of familiar faces were also present including our AMWS Councillor Captain Jeanine Drummond, Mick Kinley the CEO of AMSA and someone known to a lot of AMWS members, Captain Iain Steverson who had a long career with BHP. In recognition of the need to ensure future generations appreciate the sacrifice of those who have gone before them, the two school captains from the local Swansea High School were among the speakers at the Service.
What is particularly poignant about this event is the involvement a number of family members who are the descendants of merchant mariners who perished during wartime. Their obvious emotion serves as a powerful reminder of the grief experienced by so many as a result of war. The special focus this year was on the North Coast Steam Navigation Company, that operated in the NSW coastal trade north of Newcastle up till the 1950s. Two of the company’s vessels were sunk during World War Two: the Nimbin with seven crew lost and the Wollongbar, torpedoed with the loss of thirty two crew and only five survivors.
Lest We Forget.
Chair Australian Mariners Welfare Society
AMWS E-News, May 2022 Edition, emailed to Members on the 30th May 2022.
In the introduction, the Chairman Mr David Parmeter, highlighted the following two articles
1. Covid 19 continues to directly impact on the lives of seafarers.
East of Shanghai, on Changxing Shipyard Island -- post-COVID lockdown, April/May 2022. Following a crew of merchant mariners as they go about their day-to-day lives, locked down in a Chinese shipyard. - Youtube video.
2. AMWS provides additional $10,000 to the SIRF.
At its recent May 2022 Council meeting, AMWS agreed to provide an additional $10,000 grant to the Seafarers International Relief Fund to assist seafarers and their families affected by the Ukrainian crisis.
AMWS Annual General Meeting 2022 and regular May Council Meeting.
On 17 May AMWS held its Annual General Meeting, followed by a function for members and guests. The purpose of the event was to enable AMWS members and individuals involved with seafarer welfare to meet and discuss issues of mutual interest.
Guests included Michelle Grech and Simon Robards from AMSA, Murray Doyle and John Cardelli from the League of Ancient Mariners, Shane Hobday (Sydney Port Welfare Committee), Bernie Farrelly (Tas Bull Foundation), and Rev Un Tay the Chaplain from the Mission to Seafarers in Sydney.
Agenda items discussed and reports received at the May 2022 meeting included the following:
Ongoing COVID impacts on seafarer welfare, AMWS Constitution review update, new members, AMWS social media reports, grants to MTS stations, approval for a second $10000 donation to the Seafarers International Relief Fund, ASWC and Port Welfare Committee reports, scholarships and the Society's finance report.
The inaugural International Day for Women in Maritime - 18th May 2022.
The inaugural IMO International Day for Women in Maritime on 18 May 2022 focuses on the theme
"Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a barrier-free working environment”.
In his message recognising the day, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, highlighted the relevance of gender equality. His full comments can be read via the link below
May 2022. Neptune Declaration Crew Change Update. AMWS is a signatory to the ND.
The May Indicator shows that the number of seafarers onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract has slightly increased from 4.2% to 4.5% in the last month. The number of seafarers onboard for over 11 months has gone down to 0.3%. These latest number suggest a further stabilization of the situation.
The May Indicator also shows that the aggregate percentage of seafarers from the sample who have been vaccinated has risen from 72.8% in April to 83.6% in May.
AMWS E-News, April 2022 Edition, emailed to Members on the 27th April 2022.
In the lead article, the Chairman Mr David Parmeter, issued the following invitation to AMWS members.
"All AMWS members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 17th May, commencing at 12 noon. The venue is the Castlereagh Club, 199 Castlereagh Street Sydney. Light refreshments will be served after the meeting. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow members and learn about the work of AMWS".
The AMWS Council looks forward to welcoming members to the AGM on 17th May.
SAFETY4SEA Crew Welfare Organisation Award. Voting Opens - April 2022
"This award is open to any organisation or association that planned, promoted and delivered any program fostering crew welfare with tangible results".
Shortlisted candidates include the International Seafarers Welfare & Assistance Network (ISWAN), the Maritime Association of Ship Owners, Ship Managers & Agents (MASSA), the Sailors Society the Mission to Seafarers and the Australian Mariners Welfare Society (AMWS).
AMWS is delighted to have been considered for this shortlist.
Voting for the Award is now open at the following link
AMWS donates $10,000 to the Seafarers International Relief Fund to support seafarers impacted by the crisis in Ukraine - April 2022
This Emergency Appeal is being coordinated by The Seafarers’ Charity and is supported by The Mission to Seafarers, Stella Maris, ISWAN, Sailors’ Society, ICMA and other charities and NGOs, working alongside all key industry players who will make a difference to support seafarers and their families impacted by the crisis in Ukraine. Funds raised will be distributed to - appropriate delivery partners operating within country to support seafarers and their families.
AMWS shortlisted for SAFETY4SEA Award. 6th April 2022
AMWS has been shortlisted for two Awards in an online industry event organised by SAFETY4SEA.
This organisation, based in Greece, describes itself as:
"SAFETY4SEA is fostering Sustainable Shipping, being the world's leading source of news and insight on safer, smarter & greener shipping".
AMWS has been nominated in two categories:
1.Crew Welfare Organisation Award.
2. Crew Welfare Program Award
Winners will be announced at a special online event to be held on the 21st June 2022 during SAFETY4SEA's Crew Welfare Week.
The AMWS Malcolm Longstaff Memorial Scholarship for Semester 1, 2022 at AMC has been awarded to Coby
Coby responded as follows
"I am incredibly grateful to the Australian Mariners Welfare Society for awarding me the AMWS Malcolm Longstaff Memorial Scholarship. Having had to relocate from Queensland to Tasmania to commence my studies at UTAS has been challenging however knowing that I was able to concentrate on starting my course in Bachelor of Applied Science (Nautical Science) without the added pressure of finding casual employment straight away was a life saver....
Thank you once again, it is truly appreciated by myself and my family".
AMWS wish Coby every success with his future studies
AMWS provides annual grant to Sister Mary of Stella Maris to support her chaplaincy work in Port Botany and Sydney. 14th March 2021.
In making the donation, the Chairman of AMWS, Mr David Parmeter, made the following comment:
At its meeting last Tuesday, the Council of AMWS agreed to donate $17000 to Stella Maris to support your chaplaincy.
Everyone at AMWS respects and admires the work you do for seafarers. We know these funds will be well used.
Safety4Sea: Crew Welfare Survey / Report 2021.
(AMWS would like to thank and acknowledge Safety4Sea for providing this excellent report to the international maritime community at large)
During 2021Quarter 2 & Quarter 3, SAFETY4SEA ran a global crew welfare survey, asking people onboard and ashore to provide feedback on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted work and life at sea. Participants were asked to answer questions that cover the following key aspects of crew welfare: Wellness; Communication on Physical/Mental health / Covid-19; Wellbeing Factors During Covid-19 ; Covid-19 Impact and; Happiness.
Please click on the cover photo at left to access the full report
Neptune Declaration: Ukrainian situation and its impact on seafarers. (AMWS is a signatory to the Neptune Declaration.)
Last week, an open letter on the impact of the situation in Ukraine on seafarers was published and signed by the 10 ship-managers who are involved in the Neptune Declaration Crew-Change Indicator. The letter calls on governments to continue to treat seafarers as key workers and urges lawmakers, governments, and the general maritime community to help and support Ukrainian seafarers and their families during these difficult times. It was published in conjunction with the IMO’s special council session.
AMWS provides a $2000 grant to MTS Townsville in support of their welfare programme for visiting Ukrainian Seafarers. 9th March 2022.
Graham Miller, Manager of MTS Townsville commented
"I would like to acknowledge the donations already received, and those promised to provide some assistance to visiting Ukrainian seafarers at the Port of Townsville - from generous individuals to the $2,000 being donated by the Australian Mariners Welfare Society, and the $460 from Simon George Supplies here in Townsville. At present we are focused on a vessel arriving on Sunday and offers have been made to drive crew to shops and church, as well as providing them with phone data cards to contact loved ones.......
Once again, thank you for the support, but I suspect that this will be a long term need. We will be keeping a log of Ukrainian seafarers who enter this Port."
International Womens Day. 8th March 2022.
On International Women's Day 2022 AMWS recognise and applaud the work being done around the world to improve gender equality, and in our maritime industry to further normalise women's participation in successful maritime careers both at sea and ashore. While this year's United Nations Women theme is 'Changing Climates - Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow' and other themes include 'break the bias', we would like to provide our voice on this important day to supporting First Nations Gender Justice and Equality here in Australia. Please listen to the real-life voices of First Nations women and celebrate their ongoing contribution to our community.
Neptune Declaration Update, March 2022.
The March Indicator shows that the number of seafarers onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract has increased from 4.2% to 5.0% in the last month.
The March Indicator also shows that the aggregate percentage of seafarers from the sample who have been vaccinated has risen from 66.8% in February to 72.8% in March.
AMWS Councillors meet for first time in 2022. 23rd February 2022
Agenda items discussed and reports received included the following.
Corona Virus effect on seafarers; update, review of the AMWS Constitution Objects Clause, new membership initiatives, Communications Report, Grant policies, requests and approvals, Sydney Port Welfare Committee Report, Australian Seafarer Welfare Council Report, Scholarship Report, Sail Traineeships, Finance & Investment Report, Financial Statements, Website Report, Horizon Towers Report.
9th February 2022. AMWS provides MTS Hastings with cash grant of $2300 to assist with prompt roof repairs.
MP News has reported as follows
THE Hastings SeafarersCentre is calling for help to rebuild its headquarters and have enough money to enable it to continue its work supporting ships’ crews.
Heavy rain and storms on Friday 7 January damaged the roof of the group’s Bayview Road building, causing the water-logged ceiling to collapse.
The full MP News report can be accessed via the picture link
February 2022. Neptune Declaration Crew Change Update.
AMWS is a signatory of the ND.
The February Indicator shows that the number of seafarers onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract has slightly increased from 3.7% to 4.2% in the last month. The number of seafarers onboard for over 11 months has remained stable at 0.4%. This slight increase in numbers reflects the challenges brought on by the omicron variant.
Full details in the file below.
28th January 2022. AMWS Councillor Conrad Saldanha has passed on the following from the GM of MSQ.
Crew Shore leave
Fully vaccinated maritime crew are now permitted under the Qld Maritime Protocol to take shore leave providing they:
Are fully vaccinated (16 years of age or older who has received at least the prescribed number of doses of a Therapeutic Goods Administration approved or WHO-COVAX endorsed COVID-19 vaccine, and it has been 7 days since the final dose)
Receive a negative COVID test (PCR or Rapid Antigen test)Unvaccinated crew may take shore leave if the vessel has spent at least 14 uninterrupted days at sea, with no further port stops and no illness on board, A negative COVID test is also required.
Crew need to remain on board the vessel until the negative COVID test result is received, before being permitted to disembark.
Well done Queensland MSQ.
AMWS has received thanks from the Regional Director MTS Australia, for its November 2021 grants programme. 22nd January 2022.
"Every MTS center has expressed their deep appreciation for the AMWS thinking about them and recognising their current difficult situation".
The Reverend Canon Garry Dodd
Regional Director of Australia and PNG.
Senior Chaplain Newcastle.
Mission to Seafarers Australia.