Despite the oft sung words of the national anthem, Australians live often detached from the reality that “…our home is girt by sea”. In Canberra on 30 January, senior Defence leaders gathered at the Australian War Memorial to help launch a book that highlights Australia’s reliance on sea trade and a formidable Navy to protect sea lanes and prosperity.
In the presence of His Excellency, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC (Ret’d), Governor-General of Australia; Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial quoted the opening of the national anthem as he spoke at the launch of ‘Navy and the Nation’ written by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett.
Dr Nelson said he believed that there was no more appropriate location than the Memorial to release such an encompassing work.
Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, officially launched the publication and said the Chief of Navy’s analytical piece on the relationship between his service and the nation comes as Navy embarks on a period of significant change.
“What really appeals to me is that this is an essay written for a number of different audiences, from the Navy itself to industry and the professional community and one that manages to deliver its message to each of them,” he said.
“And that, I can tell you from my experience, is no mean feat.
“For the broader public, Vice-Admiral Barrett’s essay offers two things. It reassures the community that the Navy knows what it is doing as it begins a period of major capability enhancement. But more than that, it invites the community to participate in the reconstruction and redirection of the Navy’s defence role,” Air Chief Marshall Binskin said.
The publication is available from the Melbourne University Press website (https://www.mup.com.au/items/204068) and will be available to Navy members as pdf in the immediate future.