Stirling celebrates 122 years of Navy

HMAS Stirling has wrapped up a busy schedule of activities as part of Navy Week 2023, marking 122 years of service to the Australian people.

CAPTION: Members of the Royal Australian Navy Band – WA prepare to retire from the ceremonial sunset in celebration of Navy Week at Leeuwin Barracks, WA. Story by By Sub-Lieutenant Connor Cusack. Photo by Leading Seaman Julia Rickards.

Stirling celebrated the week through engagement with the local community and activities for Navy members and fleet units.

Stirling’s Commanding Officer, Captain Gary Lawton, said Navy had been working hard to maintain one of its primary missions of safeguarding Australia’s sea lines of communication, promoting secure routes for trade and economic wellbeing.

“Navy Week is about recognising the contribution Navy and its serving members make to the security and prosperity of Australia and reflecting on the sacrifice that Navy people and their families make in that contribution,” he said.

“Navy’s strength comes from its people, with diverse skills, backgrounds, and talents – without which we do not have a competitive edge. It really is an important and exciting time to be part of Navy.

“We celebrated Navy Week by hosting a fleet sports day for units who call this establishment home, as well as inviting the Australian Navy Cadets and previous serving members to witness some of the plethora of activities undertaken at Stirling.

“Unfortunately, due to a comprehensive redevelopment program currently underway at Stirling, we were unable to open the establishment to the wider community, but we are looking forward to making a fundamental contribution to the Maritime Day to be held in Fremantle later this year.”

Stirling was a hive of activity, kicking the week off with the WA Navy rugby team taking on a team from the WA Police Force.

The game was tough and continued a healthy rivalry, consistent with encounters in previous years.

Although the Navy team were bested by their law-enforcement counterparts, camaraderie and ‘esprit de corps’ between both sides shone through as all players smiled, laughed and shook hands after the match.

Stirling also hosted the greater Navy community, inviting cadets and veterans to come on board and experience contemporary service and developments in progress at the establishment.

They toured the Australian Clearance Diving Team Four and virtual submarine facilities and the on-board submarine, HMAS Farncomb.

Regional Support Officer Navy Cadets-WA Lieutenant Commander Richard Bromley appreciated the chance for cadets to be involved in Navy Week.

“Direct interaction with Navy in general takes the ‘raising awareness’ pitch to another level for cadets and has the pleasing flow-on effect regarding careers in the Navy and ADF,” he said.

Stirling has always provided exceptional service and support to the Australian Navy Cadets in WA though safe, enjoyable and rewarding experiences.”

A fleet sports day run by the Stirling physical training instructors was a highlight of the week.

The Stirling units put each other to the test in events of strength and endurance, all while building the team environment.

The day included a touch football and beach volleyball competition, a traditional tug-of-war and a golf competition at Secret Harbour golf course.

To conclude the week, an official reception and ceremonial sunset was held at Leeuwin Barracks for WA dignitaries and invited guests.

Consular representatives from France, India, Indonesia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States attended.


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