Supporting seafarer welfare—the DCN Maritime and Shipping Awards 2022
This award recognises the commitment of a company to the mental, physical and pastoral welfare of seafarers. AMSA proudly sponsored the Seafarer Welfare Award again this year, together with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.
Catherine Hindley is an Operations Support Officer at Wave Shipping, winning the award for their contribution to this important issue. Amongst a field of worthy and outstanding candidates, Catherine was rewarded for her commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes for the seafaring community, as well as maintaining health and safety standards for the wider community.
Recognising that many of the shipping agency services placed crew welfare matters in the too-hard-basket, Catherine became a relentless advocate for crew services and welfare issues, earning recognition amongst ship owners and crewing companies, as well as government agencies and medical services that she has engaged with along the way.
We also congratulate Flying Angel Club, Fremantle, and Hunterlink for being highly commended in this category.
Protecting and upholding seafarer welfare remains a high priority for AMSA. In recent years we have focussed on shedding light on seafarer fatalities at sea, to better target seafarer welfare initiatives in Australia and globally.
In June 2022, AMSA, together with the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), made a proposal to mandate deaths at sea at Special Tripartite Committee* meeting, which was supported by member States.
This was the result of years of behind-the-scenes negotiation to amend the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC), and it means that all seafarer deaths will be:
- investigated and recorded by flag States (referred to as ‘competent authorities’ in the MLC), and
- reported on an annual basis to the ILO, for publication in a de-identified global deaths-at-sea register.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has now taken the significant step of adopting this proposal to mandate reporting of seafarer deaths — including suicides and person-overboard incidents.
Fatality data will include a classification for each death — such as person-overboard or suicide — ship type, ship size, location of fatality, seafarer gender and rank.
AMSA Manager of Vessel Operations, Dr Michelle Grech who presented the Seafarer Welfare Award last night, said the amendments would help capture deaths at sea in a structured and meaningful way.
“This data will be reported annually to the ILO and published in a respectful and confidential way — with personal information redacted. Analyses of this global dataset and identification of emerging trends, will provide for evidenced-based interventions to better support and protect the mental health of seafarers.”