Official opening of the Naval Association of Australia, Queensland Section, State Conference
Thank you, President Sandford, for your kind introduction this morning.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to join you today for the opening of the 2019 conference of the Association’s Queensland Section.
The Association’s origins fall squarely in the period when Australia was faced with the task of reintegrating into civilian life unprecedented numbers of defence personnel – survivors of the more than 400,000 who enlisted during World War I.
The Australian Government responded by extending support and assistance of many kinds through the newly-formed Repatriation Department.
In 1920, a group of Australian ex-naval shipmates decided to respond to the challenge in their own way, by establishing a self-help organisation that eventually became the Naval Association of Australia.
The Association was born out of camaraderie – out of the strong bonds formed among naval personnel who had served together in the rigours of war.
Camaraderie remains a founding pillar of the Association’s mission and activities in the 21st century.
Indeed, it could be considered the inspiration for the other pillars – care, commemoration and cadets.
Care for one another is, after all, an extension of what shipmates have always done: Once Navy, Always Navy.
Commemoration of those lost during active service keeps alive the memory of their courage and sacrifice within the broader community, and expresses our deep respect and admiration.
And support for Australian Naval Cadets is an expression of the Association’s dedication to a bright future for the RAN.
That future seems to be in robust health in our State.
In 2016, I spoke at the commissioning of HMAS Moreton on its welcome return to the banks of the Brisbane River.
And, just a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting the Governor’s Cup to HMAS Moreton as the RAN’s best performing shore establishment.
I wish the Association equally robust health as it continues in its mission in Queensland, and as it approaches its centenary.
I thank the Association’s executive and members for their wonderful dedication to the Navy family, and for their hard work in support of ex-Navy personnel.
I wish all delegates a productive and successful conference, rich in the camaraderie and generosity for which the Navy is so well-known.
And it is with great pleasure that I now officially open the 2019 conference of the Naval Association of Australia, Queensland Section.