Yesterday, founder of Hunterlink Recovery Services Paul Karras was recognised on the world stage in the form of an International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network award at a ceremony in London.
Paul, who died after a brief illness in April, was bestowed with the prestigious award for his tireless commitment to the welfare of maritime workers.
Paul’s personal friend, International Transport Workers’ Federation President and Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said winning the ISWAN award was indicative of the necessary service that Hunterlink provides.
“Maritime workers including shore and port workers on continuous shifts along with visiting international seafarers are faced with unique stresses not catered for by the usual healthcare providers,” Mr Crumlin said.
“Paul had a deep understanding of these issues and built a service to fill that gap.
“Unfortunately Paul is no longer with us, but with the support of the ITF Seafarer's Trust, the MUA and maritime employers, Hunterlink can continue its essential work in looking after the mental wellbeing of all maritime workers including some of the world’s most exploited and isolated peoples – seafarers, from mainly developing countries.”
The awards were hosted by the International Maritime Organization Secretary General, Koji Sekimizu, who said the event was; “an excellent initiative to recognise excellence in the provision of welfare facilities and services for seafarers all over the world.”
“I hope these awards will raise the profile of seafarers' welfare and encourage others to examine and improve their performance,” he said.
The full list of award recipients is available here.