NAA HISTORY – The Naval Association of Australia promotes mateship, community spirit, Australia and the Royal Australian Navy. It began life in 1920 as the Ex-Navalmen’s Association and in 1960 changed its name to The Naval Association of Australia.
How did it begin? – One evening in 1920, in the vicinity of Young and Jacksons Hotel on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets, Melbourne, an ex-navalman out for a stroll with his wife saw a former shipmate on point duty as a policeman. From this chance meeting they decided to get together again with as many old shipmates as possible.
This led to a “Smoko” in May, 1920, in the old Manchester Unity Hall in Swanston Street, attended by about 100 ex-Navalmen who agreed to form the “Ex-Navalmen’s Association”, which was inaugurated in November, 1920.
In 1922, the Association amalgamated with the China Naval Contingent Association whose members had seen service during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.
In 1925, the NSW Section was formed in Sydney and in 1947 approval was given to NSW to form Sub Sections in other areas throughout the State. In 1960 the Association’s name was changed to “The Naval Association of Australia”, to better reflect its aims and a membership that included both serving and ex-naval persons.
From its beginning the Association was developed as a self help organisation with the main objective being to unite former and serving Naval Personnel for the purpose of mutual benefit with the motto “Each for All – All for Each”.
In 2012, the National Council believed a more appropriate slogan for contemporary use was -‘Once Navy – Always Navy’ which is also the motto of our cousins in the Royal Naval Association – who graciously agreed that the NAA could use their slogan during a visit to Portsmouth by Past National President, Les Dwyer.
That it has been successful speaks for itself, with The Naval Association of Australia having grown to be the largest organisation representing serving and former members of the Navy with about 100 Sub Sections throughout Australia. There are also a number of various ship associations and other associations who have affiliated with the Association which assists them with their public liability insurance and other administrative issues.
The RAN’s Sea power centre – who is it and what does it do? In 1990 Vice Admiral Mike Hudson, the then Chief of Naval Staff and former National President of The Naval Association of Australia, directed the creation of an organisation to promote the study, discussion and awareness of maritime issues and strategy within the RAN and the defence and civil communities at large. The Maritime Strategic Studies Project was commenced in April 1990, under the directorship of Commodore Sam Bateman.
In mid-1991 this project evolved into the Maritime Studies Program. In January 2000 the Maritime Studies Program became a directorate of the Navy Strategic Policy and Futures Branch in Navy Headquarters and in February 2000 it was renamed the Sea Power Centre (SPC). The title was amended to The Seapower Centre – Australia in late 2002 and is located at Fyshwick.
The site provides a wide variety of historical and educational information about the Royal Australian Navy. Its educational intent is apparent. Please visit the site to find details on former RAN Ships including specifications and papers published relating to maritime issues.
In addition the SPC-A has a responsibility to contribute to the education of junior naval officers in maritime affairs, strategy and naval history.