Keeping Watch gives at the right time

Published in the Navy Daily on 19 December 2014 - LEUT Kiz Burtenshaw (author), SGT William Guthrie (photographer)

As Christmas approaches, four families in need have been provided with some welcome relief to ease the hardships of caring for seriously ill loved ones. Operating as an arm of the Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund (RANRTF), Keeping Watch, the Navy’s own charity, has celebrated its first birthday by meeting its prime objective - giving to those in need.

Through non-refundable grants, Keeping Watch’s aim is to provide financial assistance to serving members and their families. Funds can assist with essential living, medical and child care expenses after a family crisis such as a house fire, or an unexpected fatality or serious illness of a loved one. Grants can also be used for education or retraining for Navy members, as well as scholarships for their dependants.

After 12 months of accumulating funds from both Navy and corporate donors, Commodore Peter Laver, Chair - Keeping Watch Grants Committee, was pleased to confirm that four applicants had now received grants with a combined total of over $15,000.

“Applications were considered across all rates and ranks. Some applications were initiated by the members themselves and some by Command on the member’s behalf. In this round of applications, the members were suffering from financial strain due to medical expenses and other costs of caring for ill family members and special needs children. It is pleasing to see Keeping Watch reach the next phase of its life whereby we can now utilise the funds that have been donated and benefit the member, their families and ultimately the Navy,” Commodore Laver said.

From 13 February 2015, members of the Australian Defence Force who have previously allotted their donations to 'Keeping Watch' through the pay system will no longer be able to do so. The new method will be through the website and will be achieved through a new automatic recurring payment arrangement via either direct debit or credit card. Current donors will soon be contacted with an offer of assistance to move to the new system, and new donors are encouraged to visit the website and sign up to this very worthy cause. 

To make a donation click the Donate menu.


  • 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.