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July 8, 2010
By LCDR Graeme Bick
DURING Parramatta's recent visit to
Karachi, the crew had the opportunity
to continue the good work of previous
RAN ship visits by hosting children
from a local Deaf Reach School.
Operating with an extremely limited
budget and reliant on charity for funding,
Deaf Reach provides young deaf children
with education and skills in information
technology, literacy, domestic science,
sewing and embroidery.
The visit began with a welcome from
members of Parramatta's crew before
moving throughout the ship to take part
in a range of activities. The children had
an opportunity to try out some fire-fight-
ing, see the bridge and check out the
ship's helicopter 'Bundy'.
In appreciation of the ship's efforts,
the children performed a number of
dances including some traditional
After a morning's fun, the children
and their hosts moved to the junior sail-
ors' café for a party complete with fairy
bread, lollies and soft drink.
The visit finished on a high note
where the children were presented with
gifts from the ship and cricket sets donat-
ed by the Australian High Commission.
CHAP Jason Wright said it was a
very positive and rewarding experience
for the children and the crew.
"It is not often a crew has an opportu-
nity to enrich the lives of underprivileged
children while on operational deploy-
ments," CHAP Wright said.
"It was great we could contribute in
our own small way, and you could see
by the smiles on the faces of the children
and the crew that this was a rewarding
experience for everyone involved."
The ship's company were also given
an opportunity to donate any remain-
ing Pakistani currency at the end of the
port visit with enough being collected to
cover the transport, food and education
costs for 10 children for two months.
for Parramatta's crew
Ashore at Karachi
By LEUT Cadeyrn Okely
HMAS Parramatta (CMDR Heath
Robertson) and her ship's company
had some time ashore at Karachi
Naval Base in Pakistan in early
Currently deployed on Operation
Slipper, Parramatta had just com-
pleted her second patrol conducting
counter-piracy operations in the Gulf
of Aden and the waters off Somalia.
While in port the ship hosted a
visit by Defence Minister John
Faulkner, CDF ACM Angus Houston
and Defence Secretary Ian Watt.
Sadly, the visit coincided with
the tragic news that Army Sappers
Jacob Moerland and Darren Smith
had been killed by an IED in
Afghanistan, along with explosive
detection dog Herbie.
Senator Faulkner told the crew,
"It has been a tough day -- we have
lost two very brave Australian sol-
"It's tough for everyone in the
ADF and brings home to every-
one the dangers you face on a daily
basis," he said.
"I want to say how important this
work is in terms of Australia's best
interests and making this area of the
world a safer place."
ACM Houston had nothing but
praise for the Parramatta team.
"What a ship, what a team! I
have been on board Parramatta in
2006, 2008 and now in 2010, and it
is always a pleasure to visit," ACM
"You have displayed great pro-
fessionalism, dedication and team-
work and I am very, very proud of
you. Thank you for the sacrifice you
make when you go away on deploy-
"You make Australia proud, the
ADF proud and the RAN proud."
During her brief visit,
Parramatta played host to a number
of events including a charity event
for the deaf and training activities
with local Pakistan Navy units.
The crew also had the opportu-
nity to participate in games of soc-
cer and cricket against teams drawn
from regional Pakistan Navy ships
and training establishments.
At the end of the port visit,
Parramatta resumed maritime secu-
rity operations. She is expected to
return to her home port of Sydney in
September this year.
WHAT A TEAM!: CDF ACM Angus Houston with members of
HMAS Parramatta during their recent port visit to Karachi in
Photo: ABET Nathan Jeal
Parramatta's CHAP Jason
Wright chats with students
from the Karachi Deaf
Reach School during
the ship's recent visit to
Karachi in Pakistan.
GOOD JOB: (Right) A stu-
dent from the Deaf Reach
School tries out a fire hose
with PO David Bowden.
Photos: CPOCIS Leo Vredenbregt
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