By Sue Dight - CEO
The architecturally significant Mission to Seafarers building is an iconic feature of Melbourne and is considered a fine urban example of a merging of the “arts and crafts” and “Spanish Mission Revival” architectural styles.
The purpose-built Mission was designed in three parts; for the mind, body and spirit.
The building is only one of a handful of buildings in Melbourne still used for its original purpose. The Mission to Seafarers is still operating our services for seafarers by way of caring for them as per our charter to promote the spiritual, moral, mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of all seafarers and port workers in Victoria.
This also includes advocating for their rights. The seafarers of today have just as many issues to face as their predecessors. Loneliness, danger, fatigue, and the stress of not knowing when you will be able to go ashore again. We haven’t yet been able to convince the Government of Australia that seafarers are key workers, but with your help we may. Don’t forget these workers are essential to your everyday lives. Fuel, coffee, electronics – all come via the oceans, and seafarers are the ones keeping those ships going. Tell a politician that #SeafarersAreKeyWorkers and that they deserve to be vaccinated too.
To help us to advocate for them and to care for them, as soon as we reopen to the public, and we are open every day, come in and see what we do. You will be amazed. You can view one of the three exhibitions going on. The MSC Maritime Art Prize winners; Simon Burton’s Voyagers and our Early Origins exhibits throughout the Mission. Better still you can take an hour-long tour of the heritage-listed building. Led by our experienced and knowledgeable volunteers. Step inside and hear the remarkable stories of the Mission to Seafarers, discover the original use of the Norla Dome and visit the Chapel.
From October 15 the Annual Maritime Art Prize and Exhibition will be online at missiontosefarers.com.au/gallery. Please vote for the People’s Choice Award or purchase a raffle ticket to win a hospitality prize pack worth $2000 •