Supporting seafarer welfare — the DCN 2023 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards

Banner image showing L-R: AMSA CEO Mick Kinley with Seafarers Welfare Award winner representatives -  John Kewa from Mission to Seafarers Port Kembla; and Peter Ernst from Port Authority of NSW.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) congratulates the Port Community of Port Kembla, who received the Seafarers Welfare Award last night at the Daily Cargo News (DCN) 2023 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards.

This Seafarers Welfare Award recognises the commitment of a company to the mental, physical and pastoral welfare of seafarers. AMSA proudly sponsored the Award again this year, together with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

John Kewa from Mission to Seafarers Port Kembla, and Peter Ernst from Port Authority of NSW, accepted the Award on behalf of the Port Community of Port Kembla, who donated an unsolicited $80,000 to replace the Mission to Seafarers Port Kembla minibus after it was written off in an accident. 

The Port Community of Port Kembla further stood out among a worthy field of nominees for their proactive and collaborative approach in both organising a successful vaccination program, and supporting the crew of the Ruby Princess.  

AMSA also congratulates Mission to Seafarers Newcastle and Mission to Seafarers Portland for being highly commended in this category.

The other finalists were Alison Cusack (Cusack & Co), Hunterlink, Mission to Seafarers Sydney, and Roslyn Rajasingam from Stella Maris Australia.

Protecting and upholding seafarer welfare remains a high priority for AMSA. 

AMSA has prioritised the rights of seafarers to safe working conditions on ships, and in September 2023, published a Safety Awareness Bulletin on the topic of safety culture, which is a significant determinant of safety outcomes and a leading indicator of accidents and injuries.

Recent data suggests that safe working conditions and associated practices remain an issue on board vessels visiting Australia — for example, seafarer injuries make up the most of the 758 serious incidents reported to AMSA between 2020 and 2022 on foreign-flagged and regulated Australian vessels.  

AMSA CEO Mick Kinley, who presented the Seafarer Welfare Award last night, said that seafarers have a right to safe working conditions on ships.

“Establishing a positive safety culture that takes seafarers’ input into account is vital when it comes to preventing accidents and protecting seafarers” he said.

“Our modern economy relies on seafarers, and their wellbeing and working conditions are paramount.”

Photos of the recipients are available at:

For more information and interview requests, contact or call 1300 624 633. AMSA can link directly to TV newsrooms across Australia, and internationally, from our dedicated media studio, for live or pre-recorded interviews or crosses with our spokespeople.


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