AMWS News 2023
Departure STS Young Endeavour, Voyage 19/23. Sydney 5th December 2023
Yasmin, the latest recipient of the AMWS Jim Israel Tall Ship Sail Training Scholarship, was farewelled today at HMAS Waterhen by Councillors Alan Tait and Graham Lightfoot.
Yasmin is currently a Uni student whilst also working at the SES.
Young Endeavour is scheduled to return to Sydney on the 15th December 2023.
AMWS Council Meeting. 28th November 2023.
Agenda items discussed included;
Future directions and strategy, Membership, Council Roles & Responsibilities, Communications; (Mariners' Lifeline, AMWS E-News, AMWS Webpage & Face-book page), Cyber Security, Grants to Welfare Providers, Australian Seafarers Welfare Council and Port Welfare Committee Reports, Scholarships, Tall Ship Traineeships, AMWS Financial Report and the Property Report.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Ms Sue Dight, the National Convenor of MTS, attended the second half of the meeting. Sue provided Councillors with an update on current MTS operations and on the status of the recently submitted MTS / AOS Sustainable Funding Model.
The AMWS Council thanks Shipping Australia Ltd for providing the venue..
AMWS Chairman inducted into the Australian Maritime Hall of Fame. DCN ASMI Awards. 16th November 2016
Mr. David Parmeter, the Chairman of the Australian Mariners Welfare Society (AMWS), has been honored with induction into the esteemed Australian Maritime Hall of Fame. This recognition was announced at the DCN 2023 Australian Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards, held in Sydney on the 16th of November.
Over the decades, David has played a pivotal role in shaping Australia's maritime industry. In his current capacity as the Chair of the Australian Mariners Welfare Society, he continues to make a significant contribution to the maritime sector.
33rd Annual Commemoration at the National Merchant Navy War Memorial. Canberra, 22nd October 2023
Registration details for accommodation, dinner and the Sunday morning commemoration are contained in the attachment below.
SheofChange Magazine. September 2023 Edition
AMWS Councillor and the recently appointed Chair of The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Captain Jeanine Drummond provides insights into her maritime career in the latest edition of SheofChange magazine.
Read jeanine's interview in full here or click on the photo at left.
World Maritime Day. IMO Theme for 2023 - "MARPOL at 50 - Our Commitment goes on. 28th September 2023
AMWS Chair, Mr David Parmeter provided the following comments to recognise the event.
The 28th of September 2023 is World Maritime Day. The purpose of the day is to recognise the essential role of the maritime industry and to underline the importance of maritime security, the maritime environment, safety, and the global shipping industry. The theme for this year is "MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on."
This theme underscores the International Maritime Organization's enduring dedication to safeguarding the environment from the repercussions of shipping activities through stringent regulations. It places a spotlight on the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which addresses the prevention of marine pollution caused by ships due to both operational and accidental factors......
View David's full comments here >>
Stella Maris Australia thank the AMWS for its ongoing financial support. September 2023.
Thank you for your annual financial support for the maintenance of the National Office of Stella Maris, Australia!This grant is important in assisting Stella Maris to have a national office which facilitates all the activities, events and meetings of a national organisation.
We truly appreciate your financial help and encouragement in this challenging seafarers’ welfare work. May God continue to bless you, your councillors and your members.
Merchant Navy Day Memorial Service. 3rd September 2023.
This annual remembrance service is dedicated to the service and sacrifice of Australian merchant seamen who manned ships in all parts of the world during the First and Second World Wars
AMWS Chairman David Parmeter attended the service and laid a wreath on behalf of the Society.
Photo. 3 WW2 Veterans - all in their 90's
Mission to Seafarers, Newcastle. 150th Anniversary Gala Fundraising Dinner, 1st September 2023.
The dinner proved to be an outstanding triumph, drawing in an impressive gathering of more than 100 industry representatives hailing from diverse sectors within the local maritime and shipping domain. Notably, attendees came not only from the Newcastle region but also from as far away as London, underlining the event's broad reach and significance. Tomi Toluhi, the Chief Operations Officer of the MTS, headquartered in London, was among the distinguished guests in attendance.
A captivating video presentation added a poignant touch to the evening, spotlighting the remarkable 150-year history of Newcastle's Mission and the remarkable contributions of a local hero, 'Christine.'
Captain Jeanine Drummond represented AMWS at the function
MV Noongah. Lost off Smokey Cape. 25th August 1969.
On August 25th 1969 MV Noongah left Newcastle with a cargo of steel for Townsville. She struck bad weather off Smokey Cape near Kempsey on the northern New South Wales coast. The vessel developed a list and sank with the loss of 21 members of the crew. At that time the wind was blowing at 70 knots (110 kph) with the seas at 30 feet. Two survivors escaped by life raft, and three others were found clinging to a plank. The search for survivors was one of the greatest in Australia's history involving five destroyers, three minesweepers, seven aircraft, two helicopters and a number of other vessels.
The plaque (left) commemorates the twenty-one men who lost their lives when the MV Noongah sank off Smoky Cape, New South Wales in August 1969.
AMWS visit ACE Training Centre, Bankstown Airport. 21st August 2023
On Monday 21st August AMWS Councillors David Parmeter, Chris Green and Conrad Saldanha visited the ACE Training Centre located within the Aeromedical Retrieval Base near Bankstown Aerodrome.
ACE Training issued an invitation to AMWS Councillors to visit their Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) and Sea Survival pool. The group was taken around the facility by HUET Manager, Kris Lim, who was extremely helpful and informative. The facilities available are very impressive and used continuously.
Seeing the helicopter mockup and survival pool first hand reinforced how rigorous this training can be.
AMWS Councillors Quarterly Meeting. Sydney, 15th August 2023
Major Outcome: Grants to front line welfare providers exceeding $100,000, were discussed and approved by Council. Other issues on the agenda included;
AMWS - Future Directions and Strategy, AMWS Constitution / Objects Clause, Membership, Newsletter, Website and Social Media, Cyber Security, Australian Seafarers Welfare Council and PWC Reports, STS Young Endeavour Traineeships for end 2023 and early 2024, the AMWS Finance Report, and Other Business (this included congratulating Councillor Jeanine Drummond on her elevation to Chair of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA)
The AMWS Council thanks Shipping Australia Ltd for providing the venue..
AMWS Grants at Work. Melbourne - 11th August 2023
Today AMWS received the following note of thanks from Stella Maris, Melbourne.
We would like to say thank you on behalf of the seafarers that attend the Stella Maris seafarers centre Melbourne. We have 2 areas where they can sit, listen to music, watch movies,sport and news. This has been a big hit. Your ongoing support to Stella maris Melbourne is just amazing
Merchant Navy Day Memorial Service. Time 1100 hrs, 3rd September 2023
Place. Those attending are requested to meet in the Grand Hall, Mosman Art Gallery, adjacent to the Memorial and the Allan Border Oval prior to the service commencement.
Further details can be found in the file below.
Stella Maris Club Mackay receive new commercial fridge. July 2023
Via a recent AMWS grant, Stella Maris Mackay have confirmed to Councillor Graham Lightfoot that their new club fridge has been purchased and is now in place. Without doubt, it will be of benefit to visiting seafarers to Mackay's Stella Maris club for years to come.
This is an example of the type of support AMWS provides to Mission to Seafarer and Stella Maris clubs around Australia on a routine basis.
Well done Mackay and a big thanks to Graham for facilitating the grant.
Captain Jeanine Drummond, AMWS Councillor, appointed Chair of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. DCN 5th July 2023.
Captain Jeanine Drummond has been appointed as the chair of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Board, becoming the first woman to hold the permanent role. The federal government announced her appointment, along with the appointments of Dean Summers and Michelle Taylor as board members. Catherine King, the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government, expressed her welcome and highlighted the significance of having a female chair and a board with majority female representation in the maritime industry. Drummond, an experienced harbor master and master mariner, has been a member of the AMSA board since 2020 and has made valuable contributions to various maritime projects, including safety management systems, pilotage standards, and maritime workplace inclusion.
AMWS Councillors and Members congratulate Jeanine on her appointment.
AMSA Marine Notice 03/2023. Access to shore leave. DCN 15th June, 2023
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued a marine notice emphasizing the importance of granting shore leave to visiting seafarers. According to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, seafarers have a right to shore leave as it promotes their health and well-being. AMSA highlights that companies are responsible for the health, safety, and well-being of their crew members. Shore leave and access to onshore welfare facilities contribute significantly to seafarers' physical and mental health recovery while reducing the risks of fatigue. Despite the ongoing relevance of COVID-19 risks, AMSA recognizes that there are appropriate and acceptable ways to allow seafarers to safely take shore leave. The authority expects companies to consider the benefits to seafarer well-being and recovery when evaluating the risks associated with granting shore leave, urging them not to base their decisions on financial implications. AMSA's port state control officers are authorized to take action if they find evidence of non-compliance with the requirements outlined in the MLC 2006 regarding seafarer shore leave.
Click to photo left to read the full DCN story
MTS Sydney Parliamentary Luncheon Tackles Seafaring Challengers. DCN 16th June 2023
MISSION to Seafarers Sydney recently held its annual parliamentary luncheon at NSW Parliament, where local supporters of the maritime workforce gathered. The event focused on the charity's efforts throughout the year, addressing challenges such as the impact of cost-of-living pressures, the Covid pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. Clayton Strong, the CEO of MtS Sydney, welcomed 177 guests and introduced Paddy Crumlin, the guest speaker. Mr Crumlin, who is the president of the International Transport Workers' Federation and the national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, emphasized the collective responsibility of the industry towards seafarers. He urged the attendees to prioritize these responsibilities, irrespective of personal, political, industrial, or professional perspectives. here to edit.
Click the photo link to read the full DCN story.
MOL trials Starlink at Sea. gCaptain, 9th June 2023.
Japanese shipping company MOL has successfully completed sea trials of SpaceX's Starlink broadband internet on one of its vessels, specifically a car carrier. The trials confirmed speeds that were up to 50 times faster than conventional satellite-based broadband services. This connectivity at sea plays a crucial role in boosting crew morale, aligning with the International Labor Organization's amendments to Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) that emphasize the right to mandatory social connectivity for seafarers, including internet access. Starlink's service offers seafarers the same level of connectivity as on land, enabling access to entertainment, video calls, and the potential for adopting new technologies like AI and remotely-operated systems. MOL plans to continue conducting trials on multiple vessels and intends to incorporate the service into its operations.
Crew Welfare Week - Safety4Sea. Virtual Event 20th to 22nd June 2023.
The event at a glance
This is the 3rd 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. Attendance will be FREE of charge to delegates.
Visit the following link for full details and registration
International Day for Women in Maritime marked in Newcastle. DCN 19th May 2023
The Second International Day for Women in Maritime was celebrated in Newcastle with an event that brought together women in the industry to share their experiences and discuss future strategies. The official theme designated by the International Maritime Organisation was "mobilising networks for gender equality," while the event itself embodied the concept of "you can't be what you can't see." Hosted by WISTA, the gathering took place at the Port of Newcastle's offices and drew an audience of over 300 individuals participating through livestreaming from various parts of the world, along with approximately 80 attendees in person.
Click on the photo left to read the full Daily cargo news article
Blythe Star Wreck discovered. May 2023. ABC News and DCN.
The discovery of the Blythe Star shipwreck serves as a poignant reminder for both the government and the maritime community about the perils encountered by Australia's maritime workers. The CSIRO confirmed on Monday (15 May) that the research vessel Investigator had successfully located the wreck of the coastal freighter Blythe Star, which had vanished near Tasmania on 13 October 1973 while en route from Hobart to King Island, ultimately capsizing and sinking. Although the 10-member crew managed to escape the sinking vessel using an inflatable life raft, tragically, three crewmembers lost their lives before the survivors were rescued 12 days later. The incident prompted the largest maritime search ever conducted in Australia up to that time.
Read the full ABC News Report. Click the photo left.
AMWS Annual General Meeting and regular Councillors Quarterly Meeting. 16th May 2023
The mid year AMWS Councillors meeting for 2023 was held at the Castlereagh Club in Sydney. This was immediately followed by a 2 hour "Brainstorm" workshop facilitated by Mr John Brecht, an experienced HR professional with many years experience in the maritime industry.
The subject of the workshop was "What will AMWS be like in ten years time".
The AMWS AGM concluded the formal activities for the morning. Members and invited guests then attended an informal function in an adjoining room.
New study finds 15 key pain points for women at sea. Global Maritime Forum, 27th April 2023.
The new qualitative study from the Global Maritime Forum and the All Aboard Alliance contains a wide spectrum of perspectives from women seafarers who address the challenges they experience at sea, from ill-fitting safety gear to slower career progression, and harassment.
A copy of the full report can be accessed via the link below or by clicking on the photo left.
Fall in latest Crew Happiness Index. DCN 8th May 2023.
CREW satisfaction levels dropped in the first quarter of 2023, the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report has found.
Published by the Mission to Seafarers, the quarterly report aims to monitor the wellbeing of the global maritime workforce through ongoing surveys.
Previous reports had indicated crew happiness was on the rise after the plunging during the pandemic, but the latest report suggests the positive trend has reversed.
The index fell from 7.69 out of a possible 10 in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 7.1 in the first quarter of this year.
Read the full DCN Report by clicking the photo at left.
International Day for Women in Maritime.
18th May, 2023
The IMO International Day for Women in Maritime is observed on 18 May every year.
The day celebrates women in the industry and is intended to promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector, raise the profile of women in maritime, strengthen IMO's commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality) and support work to address the current gender imbalance in maritime.
IMO Member States, the maritime industry, and all others in the maritime endeavour are invited to promote and celebrate the International Day for Women in Maritime in an appropriate and meaningful manner.
Learn more about the IMO's Women in Maritime Programme by clicking the photo link left,
58TH Annual Commemoration at Sydney's Merchant Navy Memorial. DCN, 17th April 2023.
A copy of the Order of Commemoration for the recent Memorial Service at Rookwood and a copy of the 2023 Merchant Navy address delivered by the Guest of Honour Rear Admiral Christopher Smith AM, CSM, RAN Commander Australian Fleet are attached below.
The Malcolm Longstaff Memorial Scholarship at AMC for Semester 1, 2023 has been awarded.
When the announcement was made, Mathew, who is currently studying for his Bachelor of Applied Science (Marine Engineering) made the following comment as part of his acceptance letter to AMWS.
“Your scholarship has not only provided me with the necessary financial support, but it has also given me the motivation and encouragement to keep on striving towards my goals".
AMWS wishes Mathew all the best as he continues his studies.
STS Young Endeavour returns to Sydney at the completion of Voyage 08/23. 21st April 2023.
Graham Lightfoot, AMWS Councilor, met the ship and the Trevor Howarth Tall Ship Trainee sponsored "youthie" Thomas, on arrival.
Graham provided the following comments.
"I attended the arrival of the vessel this morning at the Waverton Naval base to greet Thomas who we sponsored in conjunction with the Sydney Cove Rotary Club.
Thomas was up on the tallest timbers as the ship berthed and it is worthy to note that the Captain in his farewell address singled Thomas out for special mention. He also thanked AMWS and Rotary for their support of the YE programme.
Thomas is a quietly spoken young man and when asked for his comment on the voyage he without hesitation said simply
"It was the greatest experience of my life".
He did not seem to want to leave the vessel when the time came.
Well done Thomas and well done STS Young Endeavour.
58TH Annual Commemoration at Sydney's Merchant Navy Memorial. DCN, 17th April 2023.
The 58th annual commemoration at the Merchant Navy Memorial and Columbarium over the weekend was a time of gratitude and reflection for Australia's seafarers and their sacrifices during times of war. More than 100 merchant mariners, along with their families and supporters, gathered at the Rookwood Necropolis on Sunday (16 April), many laying wreaths in remembrance.
David Field, Chairman of the Merchant Navy War Memorial Fund, welcomed the guests and noted that it was the largest turnout at the Rookwood commemoration in 20 years. Sister Mary Leahy of Stella Maris invited the guests to listen to and share stories and memories of the merchant seafarers.
"Today reminds us of the relationships we have with the merchant seafarers we remember, who have sat here with us year after year, as well as those who were cut short during war, and the merchant seafarers from all over the world that we know today," she said. "Today, we honor them all as a community of the sea."
Click on the photograph link at left to read the full DCN article
Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network and AMWS, Zoom Meeting, 17th April 2023.
Via Zoom today, the AMWS Chair and Deputy Chair met with the Chair of MMHN, Dr Jackie Watts to discuss mutual interests and areas for possible future cooperation. At the end of the meeting, both sides agreed to report back to their respective Boards prior to moving forward to possible joint corporate membership.
Click the photo left to link direct to the MMHN webpage.
STS Young Endeavour, Voyage 08/23. Sydney 12th April 2023.
Hayley (Salvation Army Youthlink)and Thomas (Stepping Stone House) set sail yesterday as part of the "youthie" crew on Young Endeavour.
Hayley is fully sponsored by AMWS whilst Thomas is jointly sponsored by AMWS and Sydney Cove Rotary Club under the Trevor Howarth Memorial Sail Training programme.
We know they will enjoy this fantastic experience.
The Mission to Seafarers and ITF call for welfare funding. DCN 30th March 2023.
The Mission to Seafarers (MtS) and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) are urging the government and the shipping industry to increase funding for seafarer welfare. ITF President Paddy Crumlin and Assistant Co-ordinator Matt Purcell recently met with MtS Regional Director for Australia and PNG Sue Dight, and MtS Victoria Chairman John Lines and CEO Neil James at the mission centre in Melbourne to work on strategies for improving seafarer welfare. The two organizations want funding for welfare services to be provided by the government and industry partners, rather than relying on donations and grants. Both groups are looking to enhance the welfare conditions of seafarers who deliver over 90% of Australia's consumables and maintain multi-million-dollar shipping assets. MtSV, which has been supporting crew members visiting the Port of Melbourne since 1857, currently depends on donations and volunteers to meet the needs of seafarers.
AMSA Ship Inspection Report for 2022. Released 23rd march 2023
This report summarises the inspection activities of AMSA, detailing the performance of commercial shipping companies, Flag States, Recognised Organisations (ROs) and vessel types. During 2022 AMSA inspectors undertook the following;
2,671 initial DCV inspections on DCVs (domestic commercial vessels) - 95 initial FSC inspections on RAVs (regulated Australian vessels) - 2,405 initial PSC (port state control) inspections on 2,167 foreign flagged ships. - 1,122 follow up inspections on foreign flagged ships and 54 follow up inspections on Australian RAVs.
The results of these AMSA inspections are detailed in the Report.
Click the cover photo left to access the full Report.
Yangtze Fortune sold - released from arrest. Portland, Victoria. Daily Cargo News, 16th march 2023
The Yangtze Fortune, a livestock carrier that was anchored at the Victorian port of Portland, has been sold and released from arrest after being detained due to unpaid bunker debts.
The vessel was arrested by an Admiralty Marshal of the Australian Federal Court in December of last year. In January, Justice Angus Stewart ordered the sale of the Liberian-flagged ship, and while it was scheduled to be sold in February, the highest bid fell through.
The ship was eventually released from arrest on March 14 following confirmation of the sale from the appointed broker, Australian Independent Shipbrokers.
16 crew remain on the ship supported by the ITF, MTS and the local Portland community. It is hoped that they will be relieved in the near future
gCaptain. 13th March 2023
"Starlink" could be a game changer in providing ships' crews with continuous internet access at a cost similar to shore-based services. So say Anglo-Eastern as they install Starlink on the first of more than 200 Managed Ships.
AMWS welcomes and supports this initiative to provide crews with easy and cost effective access to family and friends.
Read more via the photo link at left
Seafarers International Relief Fund Update. March 2023
During 2022, via ISWAN, the Australian Mariners Welfare Society made a significant donation to the SIRF. This donation was directed mainly to assist seafarers affected by war in Ukraine.
The SIRF have recently published a report titled SIRF Ukraine Impact Report. The report details the assistance that has been provided to seafarers thus far.
A copy of the Impact Report is attached below.
Tricky stats for shipping on International Women's day. SPLASH 247.com 8th March 2023.
On International Women’s Day, it is important to acknowledge the current gender disparity within the shipping industry. The International Maritime Organization reports that although women make up 29% of the maritime workforce across different subsectors, only 2% of seafarers are female. Furthermore, there is a significant pay gap, with men earning approximately 40% more than women. However, there are some positive developments with women starting to break through in greater numbers.
Read the Splash 247 article in full at the link below
Yangtze Fortune sale falls through. 16 mariners remain stuck on board. Portland, DCN 3rd March 2023
The livestock carrier Yangtze Fortune was ordered to be sold by Justice Angus Stewart on January 11. The highest bid of $8.5m fell through, leading to a rush to secure a sale to the second-highest bidder, who was contacted on February 14 and given a deadline of February 24. This deadline has subsequently been extended to 10th March.
It is hoped that the sale will be concluded at that time as 16 mariners remain stuck on board and the vessel is currently uninsured and has no P&I cover in place.
The ITF, MTS Portland and the local community continue to assist the crew.
AMWS Councillors Meeting. 21st February 2023
The first AMWS Councillors meeting for 2023 was held recently in Sydney
Issues discussed included Ongoing Covid impacts on Seafarers, Clause 3 of the AMWS Constitution, Membership, Communications, Grants to MTS and AOS, ASWC and Port Welfare Committee issues, Scholarships, Tall Ship Traineeships, Financial Reports and Other Business.
The next meeting of the AMWS Council, inclusive of the AGM, will be held in Sydney on the 16th May 2023
HMAS Voyager. Lost 10th February 1964. RIP
On this day in 1964, the Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne collided with the Navy's Daring class destroyer, HMAS Voyager, off Jervis Bay, killing 81 sailors and one civilian dockyard worker.
Many survivors of this tragic accident subsequently sailed on ships of the Australian Merchant Navy .
Yangtze Fortune Update. 29th January 2023.
The Liberian-flagged ship has been anchored in Portland, in Victoria's south-west, since September 28 last year.It is now the subject of an Australian Federal Court order in a case maritime experts have described as "unusual and exceptional".A December 2022 judgement by the Federal Court of Australia found the vessel's Chinese owners had abandoned the ship and its crew amid mounting debt owed to creditors.With no food or fuel being provided by its owners, the ship is now under the care of a Federal Court Admiralty Marshal, responsible for vessels after court orders.
Groups such as the International Transport Workers' Union (ITF), The Seafarers Mission to Portland and the local Salvation Army have provided support for the crew, including a party for the men on Christmas Day.
Read the latest ABC News update by clicking on the photo left.
Update. Abandoned livestock carrier off Portland. Daily Cargo News 20th January 2023.
Nineteen crew members have left the Yangtze Fortune, a livestock carrier that has been abandoned off the coast of Victoria, Australia since September. The ship, which is owned by Dan-Bunkering (Singapore) and has been arrested for outstanding debts, is currently up for auction and is set to be sold by February 10th. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority and International Transport Workers’ Federation have been monitoring the welfare of the remaining crew members and ensuring that they are repatriated home. The remaining crew members are considered essential by the ship's flag state, Liberia, under international conventions and are required to ensure that the vessel is adequately resourced to be able to relocate if necessary or respond to emergency situations.
Click on the picture left to read more.