Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families posted to the Hunter will be the major beneficiary of a new partnership with the Newcastle Knights this weekend.
The NRL organisation is uniting with Hunter Defence Support Network (HDSN) ahead of the Adam O’Brien-coached outfit’s showdown with the North Queensland Cowboys in round 16 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday 3 July.
The Knights, aiming to capitalise on their last-start 10-6 victory over the New Zealand Warriors, will wear a commemorative training shirt during the week, which pays tribute to the 80-year anniversary of RAAF Williamtown and RAAF Australia’s 100th birthday.
The tops were designed in kind by Newcastle-based creative agency, Out of the Square.
The player-worn shirts will be auctioned following the match online at www.hdsn.org.au/knights
All funds raised through the purchase of the gear, as well as a 50-50 Charity Raffle starting Monday 29 June through to match day, is expected to assist HDSN fund workshops, events and tailored programs aimed at supporting and integrating the local defence fraternity into the broader civilian community.
Hunter Defence Support Network director and retired Air Vice-Marshal John Quaife said he was thrilled the Newcastle Knights had provided an opportunity to shine a light on the work they were doing to assist families in the region.
“The Hunter community has had strong ties with the Australian Defence Force since the establishment of the Williamtown RAAF Base in 1941,” he explained.
“Today, it continues to be one of the largest single employers in the region.
“The transient nature of defence force roles means we have many personnel and their families moving to the region each year to take up postings.
“While this presents significant career opportunities, there are also challenges with constantly having to integrate into new communities.
“Each new posting means re-establishing a home, children’s education, partner employment, along with a myriad of other challenges, often in unfamiliar locations without a network of friends and family for support.
“HDSN aims to be this local, strong and supportive network.
“We link the local civilian community with the local defence community to foster support, integration and collaboratively created solutions to the issues faced.
“This match day charity partnership with the Knights help HDSN raise valuable funds that will directly support defence personnel and their family to settle into a stable and supported life here in the Hunter.”
Newcastle fans can also support Hunter Defence Support Network by purchasing a ticket in the round 16 50-50 Charity Raffle, with 50% of the total prize pool going to the winner.
The remaining 50% will go to the charity.
Tickets are available at the game or online from 28 June at https://5050charityraffle.com.au/knights