The Royal Australian Navy has marked its 117th birthday with services and celebrations across the country. Navy members joined together at a commemorative service at the Royal Australian Navy Memorial in Canberra, at birthday barbeques and cake cuttings across the nation and overseas, including ships at sea on exercise and operation.
The Navy has been serving Australia since 1901 when Australia became the first Commonwealth nation to establish its own Navy.
Speaking at the commemorative service at the Royal Australian Navy Memorial in Canberra, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, said Australia can be proud of the achievements of its Navy.
“In the 117 years since Australian States combined their forces, the Navy has transformed from a fledgling collection of ships into a modern naval power capable of operating across the full spectrum of warfighting and humanitarian missions,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.
“Raising a Navy was a major step towards Australia developing its nationhood and modern identity. It was a commitment to our resilience as a nation which endures today.
“Since 1901, the Navy has protected our interests, ensured our communications and trade with the globe, and brought prosperity and security to our region.
“A Navy is truly a national enterprise and a realisation of the ingenuity and proficiency of a nation.
“On our birthday, we pause to remember and give thanks to all who have served; especially those who gave their last full measure of devotion or who live with the scars of their service.
“We also take the opportunity to look to our exciting future. We are on the cusp of a more capable, lethal, flexible and agile fleet that can act quickly and decisively that will meet any challenge to advance our nation.
“The Navy has been and will continue to be instrumental in maintaining Australia’s sovereignty and demonstrating Australia’s values to the world.”