Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell

The Royal Australian Naval College (RANC), HMAS Creswell, commonly known as Creswell, is the naval academy of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) that consists of the RAN School of Survivability and Ship's Safety, Kalkara Flight, the Beecroft Weapons Range and an administrative support department. It is located between Jervis Bay Village and Greenpatch on the shores of Jervis Bay in the Jervis Bay Territory. Since 1915, the RANC has been the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Australian Navy.

The commanding officer of Creswell since January 2019 is Captain Warren Bairstow, RAN, who is also the Superintendent of Naval Waters for Jervis Bay and the lead authority for the conduct and management of Navy's initial entry, leadership and management training around Australia.

Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell
Jervis Bay, Jervis Bay Territory in Australia
HMAS Creswell
Ship's badge of HMAS Creswell
Coordinates35°7′35″S 150°42′27″E / 35.12639°S 150.70750°ECoordinates: 35°7′35″S 150°42′27″E / 35.12639°S 150.70750°E
TypeInitial Officer Training
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defence
Operator Royal Australian Navy (1914 – 1931)
 Royal Australian Navy (1967 – present)
Site history
Garrison information
Captain Warren Bairstow, RAN
  • RAN School of Ship Survivability and Safety
  • Beecroft Weapons Range
  • Administrative support unit


On 7 November 1911 the Australian Parliament selected the site of Captain's Point in the Jervis Bay Territory on the south coast of New South Wales, near Nowra, for the Royal Australian Naval College.[1] While the new college was built, the RANC was temporarily located at Osborne House, Geelong. Osborne House had been considered as a permanent location for the College.[2]

Construction of the main college buildings was completed in 1915. The senior staff bungalows were designed by John Smith Murdoch, later the Chief Architect of the Commonwealth of Australia and designer of the Provisional Parliament House in Canberra.

The first intake consisted of 13-year old boys, who stayed at the college for four years. The first graduation parade took place on 12 December 1916 before the Governor-General, Sir Ronald Munro-Ferguson. The graduates were 23 members of the 1913 Entry, known as the Pioneer class. On graduation they were promoted to Midshipman and joined the Grand Fleet where they saw war service.[3]

The RANC, then consisting of the first two entries of cadet midshipmen, moved to Jervis Bay on 10 February 1915. It was moved to Flinders Naval Depot in 1930 to reduce costs during the Great Depression. To reduce overcrowding at the depot, the college moved once again to Captain's Point in 1958. The establishment at Captain's Point was renamed HMAS Creswell in honour of Sir William Rooke Creswell, a former Lieutenant in the Royal Navy who was an important colonial naval officer, was instrumental to the formation of an independent Australian navy, and served as the First Naval Member of the Naval Board from 1911 to 1919.

RAN Jervis Bay
Royal Australian Navy vessels and HMAS Creswell.

The college today

Located at Creswell is the Royal Australian Naval College (RANC), Australia's authority for the basic and leadership training of officers for service in the Royal Australian Navy. The main course run the RANC is the 22-week New Entry Officers' Course which provides initial entry training for most of the RAN's officers.[4] The RANC also conducts the residential component of the Reserve Entry Officers' Course.[5] Further training for officers such as the Junior Officers' Leadership Course and the Junior Officers' Management and Staff Course also take place at the RANC; and there is the one-week residential Undergraduate Entry Officers' Course that provides junior officers who are undertaking university studies, to have a fundamental understanding of the Navy.[6]

New Entry Officers' Course

The New Entry Officers' Course (NEOC) is undertaken by direct entry officers, graduate entry officers, and candidates[4] who intend to proceed to the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) to gain their degree. Generally, trainees who have no university education or a three-year degree enter the college as Midshipmen, whilst trainees with significant experience or more university education enter as Sub-Lieutenants, Lieutenants and Chaplains. Sailor initial entry training is conducted through HMAS Cerberus. Under the Naval Officer Year One (NOYO) scheme introduced in 2000, Midshipmen attending ADFA spend their first year on NEOC and, for Junior Warfare and Supply Officers, on initial phases of their respective application courses before progressing to the Academy.

After completing training at the College, officers proceed to other establishments for primary qualification training. Locations include HMAS Watson, for Junior Warfare Officers (formerly known as Seamen Officers), and Cerberus, for Electronics Engineer, Marine Engineer and Supply officers.

Royal Australian Naval College Graduation
Members of the New Entry Officers' Course 54 perform an 'eyes right' as they march past.

Subjects studied at NEOC include:[4]

  • Military training, including drill, discipline, command, wearing of the uniform, parade and ceremony
  • Proficiency on the ADF's service firearm, the F88 Austeyr
  • Physical training and fitness
  • RAN History
  • Survival at sea
  • Sea combat survivability
  • Naval weapons and technology
  • Maritime studies including boatwork and basic seamanship
  • Leadership and command studies
  • RAN rank, organisational and operational structure

The course includes two periods of sea training:

  • One week sea familiarisation course, where the basics of seamanship taught in the classroom are applied in practice
  • Four week Sea Training Deployment, where the trainees become crew members of a Major Fleet Unit, and accompany the ship for whatever activities it is undertaking at the time

Notable RANC graduates

Other facilities

RAN School of Ship Survivability and Safety

The RAN School of Ship Survivability and Safety, colloquially known as the "school of many S's", is the primary CBRN and damage control training facility for the RAN in eastern Australia and is located about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of Creswell. Its facilities include two firefighting training units and a floodable mock-up of ships compartments, known as "Counter-Sink".

Beecroft Weapons Range

Beecroft Weapons Range, located on Beecroft Head, is a live fire range for conducting Naval Gunfire Support (NGS) exercises.

See also


  1. ^ Site for Naval College, Jervis Bay'. NAA: A6273 L1925/952. National Archives of Australia.
  2. ^ Royal Australian Naval College – Inspection and report on sites and suggested sites. NAA: MP472/1 18/13/5650. National Archives of Australia.
  3. ^ Australia's Argonauts: The remarkable story of the first class to enter the Royal Australian Naval College. Canberra: Echo Books. 2016. p. 89.
  4. ^ a b c "New Entry Officers' Course". Royal Australian Navy. Australian Government. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Reserve Entry Officers' Course". Royal Australian Navy. Australian Government. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Undergraduate Entry Officers' Course". Royal Australian Navy. Australian Government. Retrieved 5 August 2017.

External links

History of the Australian Capital Territory

The history of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) as a separate administrative division began in 1911, when it was transferred from New South Wales to the Australian federal government. The territory contains Australia's capital city Canberra and various smaller settlements. Until 1989, it also administered the Jervis Bay Territory, a small coastal region.

Indigenous Australians have lived in the present-day ACT for at least 20,000 years. The area formed the traditional lands of the Ngambri people and several other linguistic groups. It was incorporated into the Colony of New South Wales with British settlement in 1788, but no white person reached the area until Joseph Wild in 1820. In 1824, Joshua Moore built a homestead named Canberry, whose name was derived from a local Aboriginal language; its meaning is disputed. Further homesteads and stations were established over the course of the 19th century. These were initially large properties used for sheep and cattle grazing, but they were later broken up and subdivided into smaller farms and urban settlements. The oldest gazetted settlement in the ACT is Tharwa, which was proclaimed in 1862.

The Constitution of Australia – which took effect on 1 January 1901 – provided that a new national capital should be built at a site determined by Federal Parliament. It had to be within the state of New South Wales, but at least 100 miles (160 km) away from Sydney. The Seat of Government Act 1908 fixed Canberra as the site of the new capital, and the surrounding region was formally ceded to the federal government on 1 January 1911. It was originally known as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), adopting its current name in 1938. American architect Walter Burley Griffin won the competition to design the new city, and was appointed to oversee its construction. He was dogged by disputes with the government and the onset of World War I, and was fired in 1921. Multiple planning bodies were established but achieved little, in part due to the Great Depression.

Parliament moved to Canberra in 1927, although government offices were slow to follow. The growth of Canberra and the ACT was slow, with potential residents discouraged by the cold climate and lack of facilities. Development accelerated after World War II, championed by Prime Minister Robert Menzies who regarded the state of the capital as an embarrassment. The National Capital Development Commission was created in 1957 with more power than its predecessors. It ended four decades of disputes over the shape and design of Lake Burley Griffin, the centrepiece of Canberra, with construction completed in 1964. This prompted the development of the Parliamentary Triangle, a core part of Griffin's design, and followed various buildings of national importance were constructed on the lakefront. On average, the population of Canberra increased by more than 50% every five years between 1955 and 1975. More residential land was released through the creation of new town centres in the 1960s and 1970s.

An elective Advisory Council was created for the ACT in 1930. It was replaced by a House of Assembly in 1974. Full self-government was granted in 1988, with the Legislative Assembly electing the Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory to serve as the territory's head of government. The assembly has most of the powers and responsibilities of state governments, but its actions are subject to a federal veto. The ACT gained a seat in the House of Representatives in 1949, initially with limited voting rights. It has had multiple members since 1974, and since 1975 has also elected two members of the Senate.

Pooley Sword

Pooley Sword is a traditional cutler and provider of swords, dirks, and lances to the British armed forces and also to many Commonwealth and other overseas defence forces. Following the August 2005 closure of Wilkinson Sword's Acton works, Robert Pooley MBE, who had been commissioning swords from Wilkinson’s since 1964, purchased many of the company's drawings, product records, spares, and much of their tooling, including both heavy and light machinery, some dating back to the late 19th century.

Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force, called the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Originally intended for local defence, the navy was granted the title of 'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911, and became increasingly responsible for defence of the region.

Britain's Royal Navy’s Australian Squadron was assigned to the Australia Station and provided support to the RAN. The Australian and New Zealand governments helped to fund the Australian Squadron until 1913, while the Admiralty committed itself to keeping the Squadron at a constant strength. The Australian Squadron ceased on 4 October 1913, when RAN ships entered Sydney Harbour for the first time.The Royal Navy continued to provide blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of the Second World War. Then, rapid wartime expansion saw the acquisition of large surface vessels and the building of many smaller warships. In the decade following the war, the RAN acquired a small number of aircraft carriers, the last of which was decommissioned in 1982.

Today, the RAN consists of 48 commissioned vessels, 3 non-commissioned vessels and over 16,000 personnel. The navy is one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the South Pacific region, with a significant presence in the Indian Ocean and worldwide operations in support of military campaigns and peacekeeping missions. The current Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral Michael Noonan.

Tom Frame (bishop)

Thomas Robert Frame, (born 7 October 1962) is an Australian Anglican bishop, historian, academic, author and social commentator.

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