The Mission to Seafarers celebrates 150 years of service with inaugural art prize

The Mission to Seafarers celebrates 150 years of service with inaugural art prize

Newcastle’s unique connection to its harbour and rich maritime history is the inspiration behind a new art prize and exhibition celebrating The Mission to Seafarers (MTS) 150th anniversary.

The inaugural Newcastle Maritime Art Prize was funded under Port of Newcastle’s Your Port, Our Community sponsorship program and recognises the importance of the Port and the shipping and maritime industries to the city’s past, present and future.

MTS Newcastle Senior Chaplain, Reverend Canon Garry Dodd said the winning artworks will form part of a eleven-day exhibition that aims to educate residents and visitors about the Port and the work of the Mission in supporting the more than 50,000 seafarers that visit the city each year.

“This year MTS Newcastle marks 150 years of caring for seafarers,” Reverend Garry said.

“To celebrate, we wanted to showcase the beauty of Port of Newcastle and our city and what better way to do that than through art.

“Seafarers are the lifeblood that helps to sustain Newcastle’s economy. Since 1873, MTS has been serving the men and women on these vessels who bravely leave their families in order to bring us the goods we take for granted and take the millions of dollars in exports through the Port of Newcastle, helping us all enjoy the quality of life we have here in the Hunter.”

Winners have been announced across seven categories, sharing in a total prize pool of $10,800, including artist Lee-Anne Corrigan who claimed the $5,000 Best in Show prize for her work Shoreline to Horizon.

Lee-Anne said that she is thrilled to have her art acknowledged.

“I’ve looked at the ships on the horizon and coming into Port of Newcastle my whole life but didn’t think about the people on those ships until my mother told me about the work Mission to Seafarers does to support these people who visit Newcastle from all over the world,” Lee-Ann said.

“My heart responded to that, and this artwork captures the contrast between their sea and our shore life, with the Port a centrepiece of our city that connects us to the world.”

Port of Newcastle CEO, Craig Carmody said the Port was proud to continue to support the important work MTS does to improve the lives of seafarers.

“Garry, Christine, Bernadette and their team of volunteers are the friendly faces working in the Port of Newcastle who welcome seafarers from right across the globe with openness, offering them help, pastoral care, groceries, and even vaccinations so they can disembark ships in their native countries, making our city as welcoming as a home visit for crews at sea,” Craig said.

Winning artworks and entries will be on display at The Mission to Seafarers Newcastle until Sunday 2 April 2023, where the public will have the chance to vote for the $1,000 People’s Choice Award.

IMAGE | Group image of all category winners.

Port of Newcastle

Port of Newcastle is a major Australian trade gateway handling 4,600 ship movements and 166 million tonnes of cargo each year. Its annual trade worth more than $29 billion to the New South Wales economy, enabling businesses across the state to successfully compete in international markets.

With a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national rail and road infrastructure, Port of Newcastle is positioned to further underpin the prosperity of the Hunter, NSW and Australia.

As custodians of the region’s critical asset, Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible Port that realises its potential.  


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