Department of the Navy (Australia)

The Department of the Navy is a former Australian federal government department created on 13 November 1939 to replace the Navy Office within the Department of Defence, after the outbreak of the Second World War.

The department assumed control of the administration and finance of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from the Department of Defence. The department was abolished by the Whitlam government on 30 November 1973 when the single service departments were amalgamated, with its role assumed by the Navy Office within the Department of Defence.[2]

Department of the Navy
Department overview
Formed13 November 1939[1]
Dissolved30 November 1973[1]
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Australia
Department executives
  • A. R. Nankervis, Secretary (1939‑50)
  • T. J. Hawkins, Secretary (1950‑63)
  • A. Landau, Secretary (1963‑73)


  1. ^ a b CA 38: Navy Office [IV], Department of the Navy [II], National Archives of Australia, retrieved 1 January 2014
  2. ^ Dennis et al 2008, p. 381.


  • Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; Prior, Robin; Bou, Jean (2008). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (Second ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195517842.
Department of Defence (Australia)

The Department of Defence is a department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility to defend Australia and its national interests. Along with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), it forms part of the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) and is accountable to the Commonwealth Parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, for the efficiency and effectiveness with which it carries out the Government's defence policy.

The head of the Department, who leads it on a daily basis, is the Secretary of the Department of Defence (SECDEF), currently Greg Moriarty. The Secretary reports to the Minister of Defence, currently The Hon. Linda Reynolds MP, following appointment by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in May 2019.

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