Sydney collection expands at Australian War Memorial

This article has photo gallery Published on Mr John Perryman (author), LEUT Dave Devlin (author), POIS Paul Berry (photographer), Air Marshal Leo Davies (photographer)

Location(s): Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Topic(s): Naval Heritage and History, HMAS Sydney (IV), Australian War Memorial

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, AO, RAN, has gifted significant items from HMAS Sydney (IV) to the Australian War Memorial. (L-R) Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Ret'd); Chairman of the Australian War Memorial Council, Mr Kerry Stokes, AC; former HMAS Sydney sailor Petty Officer Imagery Specialist Paul Berry, CSM; and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN, at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. (photo: Air Marshal Leo Davies, AO, CSC)
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, AO, RAN, has gifted significant items from HMAS Sydney (IV) to the Australian War Memorial. (L-R) Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Ret'd); Chairman of the Australian War Memorial Council, Mr Kerry Stokes, AC; former HMAS Sydney sailor Petty Officer Imagery Specialist Paul Berry, CSM; and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN, at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, has gifted significant items from HMAS Sydney (IV) to the Australian War Memorial.

The items consisted of the ship's name board, ceremonial life buoy, ship’s badge and a canvas print of HMAS Sydney (IV) leading the RAN Fleet into Sydney Harbour during the 2013 International Fleet Review.

In presenting the items, Vice Admiral Noonan spoke of the enduring legacy these historical pieces will represent in the Australian War Memorial’s collection. 

“Navy is invested in history, heritage and ensuring our sailors’ stories are told to future generations,” he said.

“The presence and display of this material in the Australian War Memorial will resonate with a new generation of naval veterans and their families, particularly those who served in Sydney during Gulf War I and in subsequent Operations DAMASK and SLIPPER deployments to the Middle East Region.”

The growing legacy of service by ships named Sydney spans two centuries and all major conflicts that the Royal Australian Navy has been involved in.

The addition of these items to the Australian War Memorial collection will continue a tradition established in 1928, following the decommissioning of HMAS Sydney (I). The War Memorial now preserves and displays historically significant items from each of the ships that carried the name Sydney.

Chairman of the Australian War Memorial Council, Mr Kerry Stokes, said he was very happy to accept the items on behalf of the War Memorial.

“It’s a wonderful tribute you’ve given to the War Memorial; Sydney’s a wonderful name, Sydney’s got a proud history,” Mr Stokes said.

That tradition is set to continue. A fifth HMAS Sydney, the final ship of three Hobart class guided missile destroyers, was launched on 19 May this year. She will, no doubt, ultimately add to this impressive legacy.