HMA Ships Arunta and Parramatta visited Melbourne 17-20 October, coinciding with the centenary of the departure of convoys for the First World War from Port Phillip Bay.
Seventeen troopships departed Victorian shores in October 1914, carrying troops, nurses, technicians, horses, supplies and weapons, bound for Albany, Western Australia. From Albany, those troopships joined with many others to form the first Australian Imperial and New Zealand Expeditionary Forces (ANMEF) destined for the battlefields of World War One.
Arunta was following the same journey, on her way to Western Australia to take part in the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event, marking the 100th anniversary of the convoy departure.
“Being in Melbourne on this occasion is special for us all,” Commanding Officer HMAS Arunta Commander David Teitzel said.
“For my crew who call Victoria home, being here for this is something they’ll proudly share with family and friends for years to come. We’re honouring the journey of the Anzacs; you can’t beat that.”
During the short stay, HMAS Arunta Association members toured Arunta with local lad, Able Seaman Liam Bromley, enjoying listening to some wild tales before visiting family ashore. Defence Force Recruiting candidates and a large contingent from Navy's Recruit School were also able to jump onboard the ships to get a taste of what is to come in Naval careers.
Parramatta and her crew have recently returned from the South West Pacific region where they participated in Operation SOLANIA, assisting neighbouring countries with regulating fishing in their waters.