2024 MtS Luncheon Guest Speaker Announced

Former Seafarer Now CEO Speaks Out

Philip Holliday, CEO of The Port Authority of NSW will share his insights and story at the Mission to Seafarers third Annual Luncheon at NSW Parliament House. His contribution is helping to ensure our third Annual Luncheon is not to be missed by anyone with an interest in the maritime world!

This event is possible thanks to our sponsors: Gulf Agency Company (Australia) GAC Group – principal sponsor; and the CSL Group Inc. (Australia), Svitzer Australia, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the Daily Cargo News.

Thank you DCN for publishing the following article by Abby Williams, April 2024.

This special event, to take place on 21 June, pays tribute seafarers who have, in recent years, endured a perfect storm of pandemic restrictions, geopolitical conflict and the global cost of living crisis.

The industry gathering also raises funds to help us continue its work to support the more than 400,000 seafarers who visit Sydney each year.

Captain Holliday was once a seafarer himself. He said the profession brings the joys and rewards of meeting new people and experiencing new cultures, but it can also come with a sense of isolation, loneliness and helplessness when things go wrong at work or at home.

“Meeting others in ports that offer a friendly face and an opportunity to disconnect from life on board, however briefly, has a value that cannot be over-estimated,” Captain Holliday said.

“Irrespective of your individual circumstances there is always a place for kindness and support and finding a place where this is unconditionally offered was, and remains, something that I place a high value upon.”

Captain Holliday said the life of a seafarer is “simply not understood” by most people, particularly as ships spend more time at sea and less in port. Seafarer welfare is a matter that remains close to his heart.

“I recognised this some years ago when I made the decision to work ashore but I also recognised that those remaining did not always have the same choices, therefore I chose to try and offer whatever small levels of support I could to make the industry safer and more supportive of those at the centre,” he said.

“It is a fantastic industry with many amazing people, but everybody needs a helping hand from time to time and supporting those that can provide that lift is something I am keen to promote and encourage.”

The Port Authority of NSW team believes that industry needs to support its seafarers, recognising that “they are the backbone of our supply chain, particularly here in Australia where 99% of our trade relies on shipping,” Captain Holliday said.

“For most Australians they are hidden from view and they receive little recognition for their contributions to our lives,” he said.

“However, for all of us working in the maritime industry, we are both intrinsically linked to seafarers, and often see firsthand the challenges they experience.

“After extended periods at sea, away from home, arriving in port gives seafarers a rare opportunity to reconnect, access devices and internet to contact family and friends and obtain essential supplies or seek medical or other services.”

Captain Holliday said Port Authority staff were “incredibly proud” to be supporting the welfare organisations that focus on improving the lives of seafarers.

“Alongside our peers across the industry improving the lives of those that need a helping hand feels very personal, and we are committed to making NSW a place where seafarers know they are recognised for their service to us all, they feel valued and they are appreciated.”

MtS Sydney’s Annual Luncheon will run from 1200 until 1400 on Friday 21 June, in the Strangers’ Dining Room at NSW Parliament House.

Lunch includes drinks on arrival, an entrée and main meal showcasing Australian produce, with matching wines, soft drinks and mineral water, followed by coffee or tea.

Click here to for more information and to purchase tickets. All proceeds will go towards helping MtS Sydney care for visiting seafarers.

Or see www.bit.ly/MtSLunch24


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