AN OUTSTANDING contribution to the welfare of seafarers who visit Port Kembla saw John Kewa presented with the Seafarers Welfare Award at last year’s DCN Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards.

Mr Kewa is the chaplain at The Mission to Seafarers Port Kembla and he has been for more than a decade a strong advocate for the officers and crew that enter Port Kembla harbour.

Providing a home away from home for many seafarers, Mr Kewa is known for his warmth, kindness and compassion.

The Seafarers Welfare Award was sponsored by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. As part of the award, Mr Kewa received a cash prize, which was recently delivered to him in Port  Kembla by DCN publisher Lloyd O’Harte.


This year marks 15 years of dedicated work in his role and over that time Mr Kewa has garnered significant support from the main port users. He has also helped resolve a number of crew access and transport issues at Port Kembla.

Mr Kewa is one of the two remaining accredited Ship Welfare Visitors Course Trainers, and he would not hesitate to travel across the country to train port chaplains, volunteers and others. He has trained more than 100 people across Australia.

He welcomed representatives from DCN on their recent visit to Port Kembla to deliver his prize money, which will go towards furthering the Mission’s work in the area.

Nominations are now open for the 25th Annual DCN Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards. Visit