Spreading Christmas Cheer: Maritime Workers Dig Deep for Sick Kids

Maritime Union of Australia Newcastle Branch members have pulled together and raised $10,000 for the Starlight Foundation just in time for Christmas.

Unionists and workers from four different maritime industries – the tug boats, the lines crew, the coal terminals and Newcastle Stevedores – contributed to the donation according to Newcastle Branch Secretary Glenn Williams.

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Newcastle youth member Aarin Moon presenting the cheque

“Throughout the year most worksites with MUA members contribute to a fund and will donate the raised money to a worthy cause, this year it was decided to pull four sites together so a significant lump sum could be donated to a charity,” Mr Williams said.

“I congratulate the members for their generosity of spirit and for being charitable despite the tough year most maritime workers have endured.

“But unionists, by their very nature, are a generous bunch and looking after the most vulnerable is in our blood.”

Geoff Dunne, an MUA delegate from the lines crew, was instrumental in choosing the Starlight Foundation to be the recipient of the $10,000.

“We got in touch with John Hunter hospital and asked where our money would be most effective and they told us the Starlight Foundation would be the best option,” Mr Dunne said

“It was a bit of a no-brainer to donate our hard-earned to a charity which aims to help seriously ill kids.”

Delegate and Honorary Branch Secretary Dennis Outram said 2014 had been a hard year with most maritime industries seeing a downturn.

“We’ve seen redundancies pretty much across the board and yet workers have still put others before themselves and managed to dig deep for charity.”