NSW Ports said it has donated $15,000 to Mission to Seafarers Sydney to support the centre’s counselling and transport services.

NSW Ports communications manager Brooke Eggleton said the seafarers visiting New South Wales each day ensure goods reach their destinations, to support the state’s people and businesses.

“Many of those seafarers were obliged to spend more than 12 months on ships during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Eggleton said.

“Mission to Seafarers’ staff provided them with essential services and contact with the outside world.

“NSW Ports is proud to support Sydney Mission to Seafarers and seafarers more broadly through our Covid-19 vaccination program – which has delivered almost 3000 vaccinations to seafarers across Port Botany and Port Kembla.” 

Mission to Seafarers principal chaplain Reverend Un Tay said NSW Ports’ donation would help seafarers recover from the challenges of the pandemic.

“Mission to Seafarers is honoured to have been helping seafarers maintain their physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health since 1881 in Sydney,” he said.

“I’m pleased to report that we’ve welcomed about 1000 seafarers from 31 nations since our Sydney Mission Centre reopened in April.”

Rev Tay said many seafarers have spent between 12 and 24 months over the past three years on board ships, without shore leave, and often working as long as 18 hours a day.

“NSW Ports’ contribution will help us to restore our pre-lockdown services and continue new ones, like adding flu vaccinations to our ship-side vaccination program, delivering goods and care packs directly to seafarers unable to leave their vessels and to those visiting our centre,” he said.

“The packs show seafarers that people in Sydney appreciate their work and resilience and genuinely care about them.”

He said the mission’s vision is to provide a home away from home and a place of hospitality for visiting seafarers.