As part of the Services they thanked and recognised members of the Aberdeen community who have been preparing and sending Care Packages to support Australian Defence Force personnel serving overseas.
On the day, a Seahawk helicopter from the H.M.A.S. Newcastle landed in a nearby park to highlight the Navy’s presence and reinforce the significance that the crew of H.M.A.S. Newcastle attaches to the Care Packages initiative by the Aberdeen community.
Special recognition was also provided to Mrs Carol Johnson and six students from St Joseph’s Aberdeen, Aberdeen Public School, St James’ Muswellbrook and Scone High School who have been involved in preparing the Care Packages. Representatives of Aberdeen and Scone Returned Services League Sub Branches and the Aberdeen community were also in attendance.
The Aberdeen Care Package Cadets began sending packages to troops overseas in 2011 with 170 packages sent that year. There are now 52 people who regularly contribute items and care packages have been sent to Australians serving overseas in such countries as South Sudan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Solomon Islands and to navy ships on deployment. So far this year 531 packages have been sent, including 190 to the crew of H.M.A.S. Newcastle.
Each package consists of donated goods, artwork from local schools, a small Aussie flag and an individual personal letter from the team showing the troops that this community cares about their efforts.
The Aberdeen Care Package Cadet group is coordinated by Mrs Carol Johnson and the six hard-working boys who work on the packages are:
- Logan Smith, St Joseph’s High School
- Jonah Pittman, St Joseph’s High School
- Brayden Forsyth, St James’ Primary school
- Rowan Bateman, Aberdeen Public School
- Nathan Swinbourne, Scone High School
- Pete Connnett, Scone High School.
The Remembrance Day Services were prepared and led by students from St Joseph’s and wreaths were laid by student leaders and representatives of the crew of H.M.A.S. Newcastle.