Spotlight on: Seafarers Welfare Award


Seafarers form the backbone of the maritime supply chain – they endure extended periods at sea, minimal interaction with loved ones and limited amenities.

This means seafarers face what are arguably some of the toughest conditions in the industry. The Seafarers Welfare Award acknowledges individuals or organisations within the Australian shipping industry who make it their priority to ensure seafarers’ needs are met, and their efforts are recognised.

Catherine Hindley from Brisbane-based shipping agent Wave Shipping received the 2022 award for her work (with support from the local Mission to Seafarers centre) to ensure seafarers could access shore leave and repatriation during Covid-19.

She said Wave Shipping’s vessel operators were initially able to engage with transport and accommodation services to support crew changes and shore leave, but the onset of the pandemic created some significant hurdles.

2022 Award winner Catherine Hindley with AMSA’s Dr Michelle Grech

“With the pandemic came challenges never presented before, including understanding each and every state government’s health requirements, which differed in structure and level of restriction,” Ms Hindley told DCN earlier this year.

“We were required to work with various levels of authority to understand the approvals required for crew movements,” she said.

“We co-ordinated with various vendors in obtaining the correct approvals and comply with the ever-changing restrictions with each movement.

“We worked closely with and obtained the support by the various terminals by respecting their changes and requirements for port access, and continued communications with the local Mission to Seafarers centres in all ports we were working. We also engaged closely with our clients to gather their support.”

The Seafarers Welfare Award is co-sponsored by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

“Seafarer welfare remains a priority for Australia, so it’s important that we recognise the achievements of the nominees in this category who advocate for seafarers and who join us in recognising that seafarer welfare should continue to be a priority across industry,” an AMSA spokesperson said.

And a spokesperson for the department said the high calibre of award nominations reflects the outstanding dedication of individuals and organisations working tirelessly for seafarer welfare.

“These stories highlight the remarkable efforts and commitment of those working to enhance seafarers’ experience when on Australian shores,” they said.

“These nominations celebrate the dedication and compassion of those working for seafarer’s welfare. This award is important to highlight the caring and committed work of those who are often the hidden champions of the maritime industry.”

How to nominate

The Seafarers Welfare Award recognises commitment to the mental, physical and pastoral welfare of seafarers.

This support may be delivered through in-house programs or sponsorship of an external event or organisation or general financial and moral assistance. Consideration will also be given to individual contributions made to welfare of seafarers.

Nominations are closing soon for this year’s awards, and all of industry is invited to get involved. You can nominate yourself, a customer or a client for this, or any category. Submissions close on 4 October 2023.

Click here for the full list of awards categories, and here to submit your nomination. 

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