HMAS Ballarat exercises her Freedom of Entry

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author), LSIS Nina Fogliani (photographer)

Location(s): Ballarat, Victoria

HMAS Ballarat ship's company led by Commanding Officer, Commander David Landon CSM, RAN, challenged by local Police Superintendant Mr Andrew Allen at the Ballarat Town Hall during it's Freedom of Entry. (photo: LSIS Nina Fogliani)
HMAS Ballarat ship's company led by Commanding Officer, Commander David Landon CSM, RAN, challenged by local Police Superintendant Mr Andrew Allen at the Ballarat Town Hall during it's Freedom of Entry.

In a time honoured tradition officers and sailors from Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Ballarat exercised a Freedom of Entry to their namesake city on 29 May.
 
The ship’s company, joined by members of the Royal Australian Navy Band, marched down Sturt Street lead by Commanding Officer, Commander David Landon.
 
The group was challenged by local Police Superintendant Mr Andrew Allen at the Ballarat Town Hall with the Freedom of Entry heartily granted.
 
Commander Landon said it was a proud day for the ship’s company.
 
“It’s very encouraging to see so many residents line the streets to show their support,” he said.
 
“Even if we are hundreds of miles from the coast, the hearty welcome and enthusiasm shown by the community is a strong indication of the high esteem in which Navy is held in the region.”
 
Mayor of the City of Ballarat, Mr Des Hudson said the Freedom of Entry was conferred in recognition of the friendship and service the Royal Australian Navy has extended to the city.
 
“HMAS Ballarat has a long and enduring friendship with the community in Ballarat,” he said.
 
“The Freedom of Entry is a great opportunity for the community to show their support for the men and women of the Royal Australian Navy, whom serve with distinction in war and peace,” he said.
 
HMAS Ballarat is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. Her compliment is approximately 190 officers and sailors.
 
She is the second Royal Australian Navy ship to bear the city’s name and was the eighth Anzac class built by Tenix Defence Systems in Williamstown, Victoria.
 
Following her commissioning on 26 June 2004, Ballarat received the keys to the City of Ballarat that December.
 
The tradition of Freedom of Entry originates in medieval times, when a city would show its trust in a group of men-at-arms by allowing them to enter their walls without being disarmed. Nowadays the right of Freedom of Entry is a symbolic mark of honour and support from a city to a military unit.