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Navy Health donation helps Navy keep watch over sailors in need

L-R: Warrant Officer of the Navy, Warrant Officer Gary Wight, AM; Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN; Chief Executive Officer Navy Health, Ron Wilson; Chairman Navy Health, Commodore Syd Lemon, RAN (Rtd); Rear Admiral Lee Goddard, CSC, RAN; and Commander Christina Ween, RAN; with the $15,000 cheque presented to Keeping Watch from Navy Health, during a ceremony held at Russell Offices, Canberra

Royal Australian Navy members in need have been given a boost with a donation of $15,000 to the Keeping Watch Navy benevolent fund.

The donation by Navy Health was gratefully received by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, and Warrant Officer of the Navy, Warrant Officer Gary Wight, who says the money will be put to good use.

"Keeping Watch is increasingly being used by our people who run into unexpected difficulty. It's very encouraging to see organisations such as Navy Health step up to help our people in this way," Warrant Officer Wight said.

Keeping Watch was established by the Trustees of the RAN Relief Trust Fund in 2013 as an additional mechanism through which the Trustees could provide for the comfort, recreation or welfare of a person who is currently a member of the Royal Australian Navy, whether permanent or reserve.

Deputy Chair of Keeping Watch, Commander Christina Ween said that money handed out was paid as a gift to successful recipients.

"The RAN Relief Trust Fund which runs Keeping Watch is regularly called upon to help our people. We've funded everything from medical expenses for life threatening illnesses, to emergency welfare for members and their families escaping domestic abuse," Commander Ween said.

While sailors and their families make up the bulk of Keeping Watch recipients, the fund is available to members of every rank.

"Keeping Watch provides such an important service, and donations shouldn't be limited to the business community," Warrant  Officer Wight said. "There are many worthy organisations out there, but I would like to see more ships consider making Keeping Watch their official charity - I can think of no better cause," he said.


  • 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.