The Great Race
HMAS Newcastle is an Australian built Guided Missile Frigate, which was commissioned to service on 11th December 1993 in the City of Newcastle.
The purpose of Royal Australian Navy, and HMAS Newcastle, is to defend our nation and our national interests. Our people are driven to serve, and are especially committed to serving others in need. This selflessness is echoed in a long-held tradition which every RAN Ship establishes at commissioning – developing a close affiliation with a notable charity, usually from the ship’s namesake port. This is a responsibility that ships do not take lightly. It may entail fundraising (donating money), delivering labour (donating our time), or offering an opportunity (donating an experience) – whatever the donation, the purpose of the affiliation is to create a longstanding bond through support, encouragement and genuine friendship.
Our much-loved Ship’s Commissioning Lady, Lady Margaret McNaughton AM helped us to nominate the Hunter Orthopaedic School (now known as the Newcastle Senior School ) as the Ship’s Charity in 1993 once the ship commissioned. The school relies heavily on donations for expensive specialty equipment for mobility and education purposes. The relationship with ‘our school’ has been unwavering over 25 years. During this time, HMAS Newcastle provided support and friendship; donated funds for needed equipment and vehicles; conducted ‘working bees’ at the school and hosted exclusive experiences onboard the ship for the students and their families.
Having served the nation proudly for over 25 years, HMAS Newcastle will be decommissioning on Sunday 30th June 2019. In an effort to raise funds for the Newcastle Senior School one last time, HMAS Newcastle will be conducting a major fundraising event known as “The Great Race”.
The Ship’s Company of HMAS Newcastle will be racing the ship from Jakarta, Indonesia to Cairns, Australia - a distance of over 4920 kilometers and in just 10 days. During this transit, our sailors and officers will once again donate their time, and volunteer to walk or run laps of the ship in a sign of solidarity, selflessness, teamwork and resilience. They will be required to have at least one member completing the challenge every minute of every day and in the end, we must exceed the total distance travelled by the ship. This will represent a considerable challenge for the crew; however, with your support and messages of encouragement, we believe this is achievable.
We invite you to follow our journey back to Australia, and ask for your sponsorship, encouragement and enthusiasm to get behind this great cause, and together we can make a lasting difference to the lives of the students of the Newcastle Senior School – for one last time.
On behalf of the Commanding Officer and decommissioning Ship’s Company of HMAS Newcastle, we sincerely thank you for your ongoing support and generosity; and we look forward to sharing our journey home with you.