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Presentation Recordings

March 2024
The annual Creswell Oration 06 March 2024.
This year's guest speaker is Commodore Greg York AM CSC RAN
- Senior Naval Officer, Victoria.

February 2024
HMAS Goorangai - her sinking and aftermath
Andrew Campbell will draw on his mine warfare expertise to talk about Goorangai's employment after commissioning in 1939, including vital minesweeping operations in the Bass Strait, and the tragic circumstances surrounding her collision with the passenger liner MV Duntroon in Port Phillip on 20 November 1940. Goorangai sank quickly with the loss of her entire crew of 24, and was the first ship lost by the RAN in World War II.

November 2023
May we be worth of their Service
CMDR Terry Makings AM RAN Rtd. talks about the ultimate sacrifices made by sailors, particularly around the Christmas period, and the subsequent Remembrance Services held at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

October 2023
Maritime Heritage Issues in Melbourne
Dr Jackie Watts OAM Founder & Chair of the Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network (MMHN) argues that Melbourne has turned its back on its rich maritime heritage.  Trade by sea was and remains crucial in underpinning Melbourne’s economic prosperity.  Melbourne remains the nation’s largest port.  This cultural and economic strength in Melbourne has not been adequately acknowledged in the public realm and thus far remains undervalued and inadequately exploited by government.  The MMHN was formed to address these ‘deficits’ and to facilitate cooperation, collaboration and coordination across stakeholder groups.

24 July 2023
Captain Andrew Mackinnon CSC RAN Rtd.
"The RAN in Korea 1950-53"

Andrew has an abiding interest in the history of the RAN and is currently the President of the Victoria Chapter of the Naval Historical Society of Australia.
He will describe the RAN’s role in the Korea conflict from 1950 to 1953. This will identify the nine RAN ships that took part in this so-called “Forgotten War”, the threats they were exposed to and key actions in which they were involved. Four ships completed two tours of duty, including HMAS Warramunga which spent eighteen months on Korean War service.
The account also includes the experiences of the RAN’s aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney, which conducted a Korean tour from October 1951 to January 1952. The performance of the fledgling Fleet Air Arm, bolstered by a sizeable presence of very experienced ex-Royal Navy and RAAF trained pilots and highly skilled Flight Deck operators, resulted in an impressive number of sorties and relatively few casualties.
The RAN contribution to United Nations operations in Korea was highly significant but seemingly not well remembered except by those who served in the ships involved.

23 June 2023
Major General Mike O'Brien CSC MDA BSC
"The RUSI Library"
As President of the Royal United Services Institute of Victoria, he will describe the nature and focus of the magnificent collection of books and other artefacts housed in the RUSI Library at Victoria Barracks in Melbourne.

22 May 2023
Engineering Training in the Royal Australian Navy
Captain Tom Doherty RAN
Captain Doherty presents a short history of Navy Engineering, linking this to the current Engineering Training for our Sailors and Officers.  This focuses on the trades now being taught to our modern day "Stokers, chippies, Electricians and Greenies".  He discusses the challenges of training in accordance with the Australian Qualification Framework, the work our sailors are now doing at sea and the future of Joint Trade Training with Army.

24 April 2023
Albert Graving Dock and the Williamstown Shipyard
Peter Quinlivian talks about the rich history of the Williamstown site, the sometimes fraught construction of the iconic Alfred Graving Dock, and its important place in Australian history. He touches on its links with the Eight Hour Day movement, the White Australia Policy and much more. He discusses the long links of the site with the Victorian Colonial Navy and then the Royal Australian Navy, in times of both peace and war, and its unparalleled historic importance as a centre of naval shipbuilding and sustainment.

01 March 2023
Creswell Oration 01 March 2023
Guest Speaker Captain Ainslie G. Morthorpe CSM
RAN Commanding Officer HMAS Cerberus

"How Maritime Thinkers of the 19th and Early 20th Century
Built the Australian Navy and HMAS Cerberus"

28 November 2022
“Hands Across the Trenches - Centenary of Gallipoli”
On 28 November 2022 Rear Admiral Simon Harrington, AM, RAN (Rtd) was guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Naval Historical Society of Australia - Victoria Chapter.
His presentation,“Hands Across the Trenches - Centenary of Gallipoli”, draws on his experience as the Australian Team Leader of the Joint Historical and Archaeological Survey of the Anzac Battle Site at Gallipoli from 2010 to 2014.

24 October 2022
“RAN Submarine Basing”
On 24 October 2022 Commander Doug Stevens RAN (Rtd) was guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Naval Historical Society of Australia - Victoria Chapter.
Doug spent 21 years as an Engineer on full time service in the Royal Australian Navy, and many years later commenced a further nine years of part time service. In 2010 he was commissioned by Head of the Future Submarines Program, RADM Moffitt, to research and write a future-submarines basing study. The associated report, submitted in November 2011, underpins today’s decision making by Defence about the creation of an east coast submarines home port.

28 September 2022
"Osborne House Geelong"
Captain Andrew Mackinnon CSC RAN Rtd. is a former Anti-Submarine Warfare specialist officer. He has an abiding interest in the history of the Royal Australian Navy and is currently the President of the Victoria Chapter of the Naval Historical Society of Australia.  On the 26th September he gave a very interesting presentation on the Naval history and status of Osborne House in Geelong.

27 June 2022

"J Class Submarines in the RAN"

Guest speaker:  Captain Andrew Mackinnon CSC RAN

Andrew Mackinnon is a former Anti-Submarine Warfare specialist officer. He has an abiding interest in the history of the Royal Australian Navy and is currently the President of the Victoria Chapter of the Naval Historical Society of Australia.

His presentation will describe the life story of the fast J-Class Submarines, which were built in the Uk during World War I. He will briefly mention their service in the Royal Navy, before all six were gifted to Australia in 1919 and made their way with a new depot ship to Australia, under the watchful eye of a wartime submarine Victoria Cross winner.

He will cover the maintenance challenges they faced on arrival in Sydney, and their subsequent transfer to a new flotilla headquarters at Corio Bay in Geelong, Victoria. The account will outline their brief seagoing training activities on the Australian coast before they fell victim to heavy Defence budgetary cuts in the post-war period, which ultimately led to their scrapping and scuttling at various sites in the Port Phillip area.

27 June 2022 Guest Speaker: CAPT Andrew Mackinnon CSC RAN
"J Class Submarines in the RAN"

26 April 2022

"Exploring and Charting the Western Arctic"
Guest Speaker:  LCDR Roger Buxton RCN (Rtd)
The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. Areas that in the past were seldom navigable because of ice are becoming ice-free for longer in the summer. for strategic and environmental reasons, the ability for more ships to passage through the Arctic for longer periods each is becoming increasingly important.

28 March 2022

“Adventures in Antarctica”
Guest Speaker:  Captain Jorgen Berg
Every visit to Antarctica must be an adventure – and in varying roles onboard Danish polar expedition ships, Jorgen Berg has had adventures aplenty.

28 February 2022
"Captain James Stirling RN"
Guest Speaker: CAPT Ainsley Morthorpe CSC RAN

Captain Morthorpe provides some fascinating insights into how Captain Stirling’s previous career and experience shaped his ideas of a settlement in Western Australia and the strategic thinking surrounding the location.

28 February 2022 "Captain James Stirling RN"
Guest Speaker: CAPT Ainsley Morthorpe CSC RAN

28 November
"Navy and the Nation"
Guest speaker:  CDRE Greg Yorke CSC RAN

23 November 2021 Guest Speaker: CDRE Greg Yorke CSC RAN
"Navy and the Nation"

28 June
Murder, Mutiny and Political Controversy in the Royal Australian Navy
Victorian Chapter of the Naval Historical Society of Australia's presentation by Robert Hadler.
Robert’s presentation is based around his two books – “Dark Secrets, A true Story of Murder in HMAS Australia”, which deals with the military, legal and diplomatic fallout arising from a murder in HMAS Australia in March 1942; and his latest book “Mutineers, A True Story of Heroes and Villains”, which deals with the complex military, political and diplomatic issues behind the 1919 mutiny in HMAS Australia I and its aftermath, plus the personal and sometimes tragic human-interest story about the five young mutineers.
28 June 2021 Guest Speaker: Mr Robert Hadler
"Murder, Mutiny and Political Controversy in the RAN"

24 May 2021 Guest Speaker: Commander Steve Cole CSM RAN
"Navy Environmental Management – Past and Present"

26 April 2021 Guest Speaker: CAPT Andrew Mackinnon - "The Pacific Patrol Boat Project - The Early Years"

22 March 2021 Guest Speaker:  CMDR Cindy Jenkins RAN - The first female to command the RAN Recruit school

06 December 2019 The RAN Today

Guest Speaker:  VADM Mike Noonan AO RAN

28 October 2019 Technology and the Battle of the Atlantic - part II

Guest Speaker:  Former RCN weapons officer Roger Buxton

In August Roger presented Part One of his illustrated address- Technology and the Battle of the Atlantic, and we look forward with great anticipation to enjoying Part Two on the 28th.  In part one we were fascinated to view the various film clips, maps etc. Not only did we learn of the difficulties the allies faced during this close run battle, but Roger told us of the problems the Germans faced as well. Roger Buxton served in the Royal Canadian Navy-and as he described it to us, 'The Atlantic was our battleground'. Join us for part two of this very well researched presentation.

23 September 2019 Guest Speaker:  Our member Captain Brian Surtees. 

Brian joined the RAF in 1957 and flew many aircraft during his 12 years of service.  Brian and his family emigrated to Australia in 1969 and after 12 months as a Jackaroo in Queensland, he joined our Department of Civil Aviation, eventually joining the DCA Flying unit at Essendon Airport.  For the next 24 years he enjoyed a career flying F27, Merlin, Rockwell Commander 1000 and F28 aircraft on navaid calibration and radar for the RAAF, the RAN, the Army, the RNZAF and occasional V.I.P work.  Currently Brian is a volunteer at the DCA Museum at Essendon Airport.  Sit back and listen to his fascinating story.

26 August 2019 Technology and the Battle of the Atlantic

Guest Speaker:  Former RCN weapons officer Roger Buxton

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest battle of the Second World War and possibly the most important. If the Allies had lost control of the Atlantic to the German U-boats, Britain would have been forced out of the war, The Soviet Union might have been forced to make peace with Hitler and there would have been no Allied landing in France.

26 June 2019 Tales from the Museum:  'The Nestor Bell'

Our Marty Grogan has recently retired as Manager of our HMAS CERBERUS Museum, and not only is he an excellent speaker, he is also a font of knowledge on the collection owing to his extensive research on the artefacts of the museum, undertaken over the ten years of his tenure.  One such artefact is the ships bell from our 'N' class destroyer, HMAS Nestor.  The Nestor story is brief but fascinating.  It involves Artic Convoys, HMS Hood, Bismark and a battle for survival in the Med.  One of Marty's close friends, LCDR Ken Brown was actually sunk in her!

27 May 2019 Meet Captain Mike Oborn CSM RAN, of HMAS Cerberus

Captain Oborn is currently CO of our HMAS CERBERUS and many of us got to know Mike whilst he was XO there from 2011-2014 and are enjoying having him and his family back amongst us once more.
He is an excellent speaker and he surely has got a lot to talk to us about:- from being a Clearance Diver to becoming Commanding Officer of HMA ships Betano, Sirius and Cerberus, plus serving with the Royal Navy Amphibious Task Group and his deployment in Afghanistan!

25 March 2019 Major Development Works worth $463 million Currently under way to HMAS Cerberus

CMDR Cameron Eastman OAM RAN, the Cerberus Redevelopment Project Officer is our speaker.

CMDR Eastman has previously been involved in the redevelopment of shore facilities at HMAS Albatross, Cairns, Cerberus Coonawarra, Stirling and the Naval Ammunitioning Facility at Eden, NSW.

24 September 2018 Career Reflections

Captain Andrew (Andy) Mackinnon joined the RAN in 1963 and trained as an Officer in the UK and Australia.  He served in HMAS VENDETTA off Vietnam 1970.  Andy's early career consisted of further training in the UK, exchange duty with the USN, service in, and command of patrol boats culminating in the command of HMAS CAIRNS and duties as NOC Cairns and Commander Australian Patrol Boat Forces.  Promoted Captain in 1990,he then served with the Department of Defence as Director, South West Pacific branch, International Policy Division.  Subsequently he was CO HMAS COONAWARRA in Darwin throughout 1995-96.  Three years service followed as our Defence Advisor in NZ from 1997-99, during which the Bougainville and East Timor interventions occurred and major changes to NZDF capability were developed.  Subsequently he served as Director UN, Peace Operations and Arms control in the Strategy and International Policy Division in Canberra.  He retired from the RAN in 2001 but his involvement with Navy didn't finish there!!!  Join us on September 22nd and hear Captain Andrew B Mackinnon, CSC,RAN (Retd) tell us the full story of his Naval Career in and out of uniform.

27 August 2018 India - Major Naval Power! - Reflections of a Naval Defence Advisor.

Captain Sheldon Williams RANR has served in our Navy for over forty years, and has had numerous seagoing and shore based postings. These have included HMAS SYDNEY's world circumnavigation in 1990, exchange positions with the US Navy, as strategic lead planner for Operations TSUNAMI ASSIST and PAKISTAN ASSIST, Command of our HMAS CERBERUS in 2008-09.  He deployed on active service to the Persian Gulf (Iran-1990-91) and the Middle East in 2003 and 2003.  However the basis of Sheldon's address to us on this occasion is about his time in India as Australia's Defence Advisor to the Indian Government.  His perspective on the rise to prominence of the Indian Navy is of particular interest to us.  Sheldon has graduate and post graduate qualifications in applied science, logistics, resource management and international relations his most recent being a Masters in Philosophy (Strategic and International) at the Indian National Defence College.

28 May 2018 Commodore Greg Yorke CSC RANR, our new SNO Vic
Commodore Greg Yorke CSC RANR, our new Senior Naval officer for Victoria, is happy to 'Meet and Greet' with our 'Naval Family' in Victoria at our May meeting. To this end we will be inviting all Sister Naval Organisations to join with us to hear Commodore Yorke speak about his career to date and his plans for the future. As CMDR Yorke he was the first Captain of HMAS ARUNTA II.
Other roles undertaken have included: Associate Director, Defence and National Security for KPMG Australia, plus as leading Consultant, Change Manager to a leading Mining company, and as Lead Consultant, Change Management to the Federal department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

27 Mar 2018 Serving in the WRANS during WWII and How We Helped Beat the Japs

During WWII, the Harman receiving station in Canberra provided communications services for the ships of the allied Navies working in the Pacific region.  Commissioned HMAS Harman in 1943, vital to its success were the first servicewomen who began work as telegraphers, telegraphists etc forming the basis of the WRANS which were formed in 1941.  Tonight's speaker, Pamela Nicholls enlisted in the WRANS in 1943, and after training, her initial job was to monitor IJN ships and submarine radio traffic, in conjunction with Bletchley Park in the UK.  Pamela was commissioned later in the war and the tale she has to tell is of great interest.

27 Nov 2017 Uncharted Waters
LCDR Cassandra Mohapp RAN, the First Lieutenant of HMAS Cerberus speaks very well and she certainly has an interesting tale to tell. She recounts her earlier experiences before joining the RAN, then relates to us her very interesting 20 naval career, which includes performing at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and conducting the band at Gallipoli. We also hear a very special piece called Belle's Broadcast. An excellent talk and well worth listening to.

25 Sep 2017 HM Royal Dockyards around the World
Our Speaker for September is our Secretary, LCDR John Redman RAN Ret. John began his Naval Career in the Royal Navy, but even before he joined the RN, Navy was very much part of his life.

John's Father was an Admiralty Official and consequently John's childhood was to a large part spent in HM Royal Dockyards, Bermuda, Singapore, Portsmouth and Gibraltar.

28 Nov 2016 The Skiff Party

Pattie's subject is her new book, The Skiff Party, a true story about two English children who flee from the Japanese out of Singapore on the ill-fated SS Vyner Brooke which was sunk by the Japanese in the Banka Straight on February 12th 1942.  Imprisonment followed and in mid-1944 the two children found themselves as civilian internees in the horror of the Tjideng camp in Batavia.

The kindness of strangers is at the core of 'The Skiff Party', as is the tenacity of the human spirit. The tale involves HMAS Perth, AANS Vivian Bullwinkel, the YWCA, Lady Edwina Mountbatten, and SURVIVAL! 

26 Sep 2016 HMAS Melbourne II

CMDR Tom de Voil RAN Ret., tells us of HMAS Melbourne II, the construction of HMS Ark Royal and shares many interesting tales from his career.

25 Aug 2014 D-Day

CMDR Jim Speed DSC RAN Rtd. relates his experiences as a young Naval Officer on Sword Beach Red, 70 years ago last June. Jim's beach, Sword Red was the closest one to the river Orne. The Commando's job was to land on the beach prior to the arrival of the landing craft containing the troops and to assist the landing craft staying 'bows on the beach', then when they were unloading, to help them get off. Jim was able to watch the first wave of the landing come in to the beach whilst sitting in the sand, thus observing history being made whilst under fire! Jim's first day when he wasn't helping landing craft, was involved in helping the removal of the obstacles and marking where the sunken landing craft were. The first night, and the two after, they had to man the perimeter trenches in readiness for the expected counter attack. There was still a lot of the enemy not far away!