Chaplains from across Navy congregated at HMAS Penguin in Sydney for the 2021 Navy Chaplaincy Branch conference, offering an opportunity for fellowship and the sharing of experiences.
CAPTION: Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Christopher Smith with Navy chaplains and support staff at HMAS Penguin in Sydney. Story by Chaplain Richard Quadrio. Photo by Leading Seaman Leo Baumgartner.
The conference, held from March 15 to 19, explored contemporary research regarding the value of chaplaincy in a pluralistic society, and the need for upskilling chaplaincy support to command and members facing hardship, trauma and bereavement.
Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Chris Smith told the conference chaplaincy played a vital role within the service.
“Chaplaincy is a historic Navy capability that is adapting, broadening and developing to continue to provide excellent support to all Navy members,” Rear Admiral Smith said.
“I appreciate the consistent, available and caring role Navy chaplaincy delivers to sailors and officers across the Navy.”
One of the conference highlights was a talk by HMAS Adelaide’s Chaplain Finau Simote about the recent chaplaincy support to Operation Fiji Assist.
Chaplain Simote said cultural and religious international engagement was an essential part of Australia’s humanitarian and disaster relief responses.
The first Maritime Spiritual Wellbeing Officers, Lieutenants Tammy Dunne and Jonathan Chan, attended their first Navy Chaplaincy Branch conference.
“It was great to network and collaborate with the team, to strengthen capability and reach, and explore how our diverse strengths can further build upon 100-plus years of Navy chaplaincy support,” Lieutenant Chan said.