‘Changing perceptions’: Day to celebrate our seafarers
THE general manager of the Gladstone Seafarers Centre is encouraging the community to show their appreciation towards seafarers this International Seafarers Day.
Celebrated annually on June 25, the day is used to educate people on treating seafarers with respect and dignity so they can continue to provide services to keep world trade moving.
Jessica Mulhall said the Gladstone Seafarers Centre is a multi-dimensional space that is used to cater for seafarers during the time their vessel is docked in the Gladstone Harbour.
Ms Mulhall said the organisation defined seafarers as "people of the sea".
"Whether they are working on the coal ships, are fishermen or pilots of the tugboats, we basically look after anyone who is 'of the sea', either actively or retired," she said.
Ms Mulhall said it was her ambition to open the Gladstone Seafarers Centre up to the community by commercialising the onsite kitchen and installing a coffee shop.
"We are trying to open the centre more to the general public so they can have a better understanding of what we are doing and integrate the seafarers with them better," she said.
Ms Mulhall said International Seafarers Day was important on a global scale because the world does not function without them.
"Locally, people tend to forget Gladstone is not rich in industry assets, Gladstone has a harbour," she said.
"So all of these amazing things that we have here, that infrastructure is only here because we have the harbour.
"It is the harbour, and the people who work in and around it, who are the important thing for us."
Ms Mulhall said International Seafarers Day was a day to recognise the work that they do.
"Over the last few years we have this push towards respecting and admiring the work seafarers do," she said.
"We want to change people's perceptions of seafarers from 'pity them' to 'appreciate them'."