DOZENS of students in the Wynnum area have received tablet computers or other essential supplies to allow them to undertake home-schooling during the COVID-19 crisis, thanks to the generosity of wharfies at the Patrick container terminal in Brisbane.

Maritime Union of Australia members raised more than $5,000 in just seven days to support local families struggling due to job losses or economic hardship, providing 25 tablet computers along with stationary items.

Fundraising organiser and MUA member Peter Bruekers said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of MUA members, their friends, and members of the local community.

“When local Lytton MP Joan Pease asked for help for students whose families were struggling during the current health crisis, we knew we needed to do our bit,” Mr Bruekers said.

“For families who had suffered job losses or other financial hardship, the added stress of not being able to provide their kids with essential items needed to keep learning from home was making things even tougher.


“I was overwhelmed by the generosity and support from wharfies from the Patrick terminal, along with their friends, fellow MUA members, local businesses and community organisations.”

MUA Queensland Branch secretary Stephen Cumberlidge said that despite facing economic uncertainty themselves, union members had dug deep to help working families struggling during the current crisis.

“Across Queensland, thousands of families have been struggling to support their children’s learning through this challenging time while facing job losses, reduced hours, or financial hardship,” he said.

“MUA members from the Patrick container terminal have demonstrated a core value of trade unionism — working people sticking together and helping those in need — by digging deep and providing what they could to support kids most in need in their local community.

“Everyone who made a donation, big or small, deserves to be commended for their generosity during this incredibly challenging time, with every dollar making a world of difference to these local kids.”