The future is closer than it looks – CN challenges Navy’s new leaders

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Celeste Ecuyer (author), LSML-C Nadav Harel (photographer), ABATV Jarryd Capper (photographer)

Location(s): ADFA, Canberra

Topic(s): Ceremonial Sunset, Australian Defence Force Academy

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN, talks to Midshipmen during the Midshipman's Ball held at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. (photo: LSML-C Nadav Harel)
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN, talks to Midshipmen during the Midshipman's Ball held at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra.

The RAN’s future leaders have played host to Navy’s new Chief, with a tribute to past traditions and some words of advice on their future.

The Australian Defence Force Academy’s Royal Australian Navy cohort hosted Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, at a traditional Navy Mess Dinner last night. The evening began with a traditional Beat to Quarters and Ceremonial Sunset, which called the Midshipmen to their stations to mark the lowering of the RAN’s official flag, the Australian White Ensign, at the close of day. The Midshipmen then accompanied their guests to the dining room for the formal dinner.

In his first address to the young men and women training to be the leaders of the Royal Australian Navy as Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Noonan spoke of the future state of Navy, and asked the Midshipmen to think about the part they would play.

“You are the future, you will have the skills, you are developing the knowledge, and you will be responsible for delivering future capability that I am only now talking about.” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

CN also spoke of his time as a young Midshipman in the 1980s. “I was on board HMAS Swan (Destroyer Escort) and I had a coffee cup with a picture of an Anzac Class Frigate on it...these ships were not yet built. They were to be the future of our Navy, but it all seemed so far away.

“Fast forward 9 years, and I was the first Operations Officer in HMAS Anzac’s Commissioning crew. Then in 2003, I was the Commissioning Commanding Officer in HMAS Parramatta.

“The future is closer than it looks. As we head into the future, what part are you going to play?”