2022 HMAS Moreton Ship’s Ball
Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton, Commander Fiona Southwood RAN; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here this evening.
I would also like to particularly acknowledge Commander Peter Tedman DSM OAM who was Commander of HMAS Moreton when the base was commissioned in May 2016. It was my predecessor as Governor, the Honourable Paul de Jersey, who attended the commissioning ceremony, but both Governor de Jersey and I have since had the pleasure of having Peter work with us as an Honorary Military Aide de Camp at Government House.
Graeme and I are delighted to be sharing this special anniversary celebration with so many serving and former defence personnel, and, at the outset, I acknowledge them and their families and thank them for their service to Queensland and to our nation.
Brisbane, its river and Moreton Bay have been part of Australia’s naval history since the Queensland Marine Defence Force was established almost 140 years ago, but it was Japan’s entry into World War II that led to Brisbane and HMAS Moreton becoming a vital part of Australia’s war effort.
It was a time of uncertainty that required quick decisions and adaptability, and that sense of urgency can be seen in the somewhat hasty adoption of an unofficial badge by HMAS Moreton in 1942.
The motto ‘What I do, I do well’ was also a reflection of the times, as was the strong image of the bow of a speeding motor launch, capped by the Naval Crown.
But it is the second badge that proudly reflects what HMAS Moreton has become today.
The wonderful Naval Crown, the symbol of naval bravery since Roman times, remains, as does the encircling gold cordon, but the motto ‘What I do, I do well’ has become ‘Hold fast’, and Neptune’s trident, rising triumphantly above the waves, has replaced the aggressive bow of the speeding motor launch.
Most significantly, the crest on the badge today features a crossed club, stone axe and boomerang as acknowledgement that Indigenous Australians have served in the Royal Australian Navy since World War I.
In 1942, the second commissioning of HMAS Moreton as a Shore Establishment earned it a place in the long history of navies stretching back to the Egyptians, Persians and Romans.
Eighty years later, on behalf of all Queenslanders, I am proud to congratulate Commander Southwood and the men and women she leads on reaching this milestone. It is indeed a cause for celebration.
Enjoy your evening.