Stalwart’s first edition published in the west

HMAS Stalwart recently established its library thanks to an initiative in which ships receive a variety of reading material for the crew to enjoy.

CAPTION: Library Manager Kym Andrews, left, Librarian Penelope Sherrell, Assistant Director Defence Archives and Services Centre Michael Chow and Commander Steve McCracken with donated library books on the bridge of HMAS Stalwart. Story by Lieutenant Gary McHugh. Photo by Petty Officer Richard Cord.

The project, funded by Defence Library Service, involves the purchase of a wide range of reading material and the donation of those publications to various ships throughout the fleet.

HMAS Stirling library service manager Ms Kym Andrews said she was delighted to be involved in the project.

“We’re thrilled to once again be given the opportunity to supply a library of books, this time to HMAS Stalwart,” Ms Andrews said.

“As someone who is surrounded by books and other forms of reading matter on a daily basis, I am so happy to be able to share some of my passion for reading with my Navy colleagues.

“An added bonus of the project is that we are supporting local business by purchasing, in this case, the reading matter from My Little Bookshop located in Rockingham, Western Australia.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of Library Advocate Michael Chow who was instrumental in sourcing the funding for the purchase of the materials.”

Stalwart Commanding Officer Commander Steve McCracken said the entire ship’s company appreciated the book donation and were looking forward to expanding their reading horizons.

“This is a wonderful initiative and I thank Kym, her colleague Penelope Sherrell and the rest of the Library Service team for their hard work in making it happen,” Commander McCracken said.

“The ship’s company works hard at sea and any initiative to improve the quality of their downtime should be supported.”

Stalwart’s previous Navigating Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ben Hicks, championed the initiative during the ship’s commissioning preparations in 2021.

“A warship’s library can be its heart of oak for the crew to enjoy,” Lieutenant Commander Hicks said.

“I’m very grateful for the efforts of Defence Library Service in helping us establish this generous collection and I encourage other fleet units to follow in Stalwart’s wake if they seek to refresh their own literary holdings.”

The Library Service team has supplied almost 200 items through the project so far, which comprises a mix of fiction and non-fiction publications by Australian and international authors.






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