Where the NAA began!

NAA History

History of the Naval Association of Australia. 

The current Naval Association of Australia began in 1920 as the Ex-Navalmen’s Association. In 1960 the Ex-Navalmen’s Association changed it's name to the Naval Association of Australia.

The Ex-Navalmen’s Association began 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-Navalmens Association", which was inaugurated in November, 1920.

In 1922, the Ex-Navalmen's 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 form Sub Sections in other areas throughout the State. In 1960 the Ex-Navalmen's Association 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.

The Tasmanian Section did not belong to the NAA back in the 1960’s. It operated as its own Association and had their own official badge as shown.

From the 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

Once Navy, Always Navy (Our motto today)

Our Badge has also evolved over time.


Research Links

Click on the link below if you would like to visit the Wayback Machine and follow the development of the NAA Website since the 24th May 1998

Naval Association of Australia

Trove - Argus

The Argus (Melbourne) 10th May 1920

Article Advertising the meeting on the 12th May 1920

Page 14

Pages 1-14

The Herald, Monday 13th September

RANB / NAVY  (Royal Australian Naval Brigade / Royal Australian Navy)

Navy List - 1st October 1905

Navy List - 1st January 1920

Navy Lists 1905 - 1985



The line above must be replaced each time any changes are made to the webpage

Australian Flags - Change 19, 12 Sept 2022