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About Us

Who are we?

Established by donations from senior Permanent, Reserve and Retired Naval Officers, Keeping Watch is an arm of the Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund which cares for and supports members of the Navy and their dependants. Keeping Watch is Navy’s own charity and an avenue by which all members the Australian Community can provide assistance, by way of philanthropic donations, to those who are serving the Royal Australian Navy and are in financial need.

What do we do?

Keeping Watch provides assistance to serving members of the Royal Australian Navy and their families who are suffering financial hardship, normally through non-refundable grants. Some examples of the help that is available under Keeping Watch include financial assistance for:

  • Essential living expenses after a family crisis such as a house fire, or unexpected death or serious illness of a loved one;
  • Medical treatment or health support for situations not fully covered by Medicare or private health insurance;
  • Child care costs when the usual at-home carer is not able to look after their young family during an unexpected family crisis.

Why are we needed?

The creation of Keeping Watch acknowledges that while there are numerous sources of support for Australian families in financial need, there are times when short term urgent assistance is required to fill the gaps in existing entitlement systems caused by the unique nature of naval service. Keeping Watch is one means by which members of the naval family can access such assistance.

Keeping Watch’s mandate is strongly aligned with and builds on the long held role of the Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund and importantly, all funds raised by Keeping Watch will go to enhancing Navy’s capacity to look after its people.

Public Interest Disclosure Scheme

The Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund Trustees welcome feedback, including concerns which can be raised through the Relief Trust Fund Principal Office or direct to individual Trustees. Complaints regarding suspected wrongdoing or maladministration can also be raised through the Defence Public Interest Scheme.

Do you need Help?

If you believe your situation warrants consideration from the Keeping Watch Grants Committee, please download and complete our application form below.

Application Form


  • M Bult - HMAS Hobart

    When there was an unfortunate circumstance that resulted in financial hardship for a family member, Keeping Watch was eager to help out as much as possible. My divisional staff were more than accommodating to ensure that I understood the process, and between them and the Keeping Watch team I was constantly reassured that the help my family desperately needed at the time was being organised. Keeping Watch is the light at the end of the tunnel, you just need to reach out and ask for the help.
  • D Smith - Canberra

    I cannot thank Keeping Watch for helping us in our time of need. We were struggling with living expenses after a death in the family and I found out about Keeping Watch. I'm so glad I conatcted them to see how they could help. They were amazing throughout and the money could not have come at a better time. We are now moving forward positively and looking to the future. Thank you so much.
  • R James - Canberra

    I would highly recommend Keeping Watch if you need financial help and are a Navy family. We experienced an unexpected family crisis and we were struggling to meet daily living expenses and child care costs. Keeping Watch helped us through this difficult situation with a grant and offered some very valuable advise on how to deal with the loss. If you need help, contact Keeping Watch.