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2014 - Centenary of Submarines

Celebrations to mark the centenary of Australian submarines were recently launched by Defence Minister Senator David Johnston in Darling Harbour.

Senator Johnston said submarines and submariners had played a vital role in Australia’s naval history since the arrival of our first two submarines AE1 and AE2 in 1914, just three months before the outbreak of WW1.

“Over the past 100 years there have been five generations of submarines, from our first two ordered from Britain to the hugely successful Oberon class in the 1960s and 1970s followed by the first submarines built in Australia – the Collins class,” Senator Johnston said.

“There is no secret the Collins program was not without its challenges but we have learnt a great deal from that experience.”

Senator Johnston said it was important to remember the Royal Australian Navy was among the world’s first to integrate female officers and sailors onboard submarines.

“Women submariners have been integral to the submarine service for more than 15 years and now make up around ten per cent of the arm ranking from Able Seaman to Lieutenant Commander.”

Senator Johnston said the Government was committed to ensuring Australia retained a regionally superior conventional submarine capability after the Collins Class submarines are withdrawn from service.

“At the beginning of the next chapter of our submarine capability we are ready to put in practice all we’ve learnt in the past 100 years.”

After the launch the Minister joined children from St Francis of Assisi school to write messages of hope in bottles which they hung on the submarine HMAS Onslow at the National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour.

Queensland Events

History of Submarines
Throughout the year representatives of SAA Queensland will be available to address Schools, Veterans groups, RSL Clubs, Naval Association sub-sections and other organisations who have an interest in learning about this little known arm of Australia's military.

25 April 2014

0530 – 0630 Submariners’ Dawn Service. Submariners Walk
0700 – 0800 Short ANZAC Day March. Coorparoo
0800 – 0900 ANZAC Service. Coorparoo RSL
0900 – 0930 Transport from Coorparoo to Brisbane
1000 – 1100 Brisbane March. Cnr George & Elizabeth Streets
1100 – 1130 Transport from Brisbane to Coorparoo
1130 – 1300 Drinks, nibblies and catching up. Coorparoo RSL

If you are not confident about making the distance at either of the Marches, please let us know on the registration form so that we can organise a ride for you.

Centenary of Submarines Gala Ball
13 September 2014

You are invited to attend a Gala Ball at the Grand Chelsea Ballroom, Mercure Brisbane Hotel to celebrate the Centenary of Submarines in Australia. Tickets are limited, so please ensure that you book early to avoid disappointment. 

Centenary of the loss of HMAS AE1
14 September 2014

You are invited to attend a memorial service on the anniversary of the loss of Australia's first submarine.
Click Here to Register

National Events

Book Launch: A Century of Silent Service - Australian Submariners - Dr G. Seal/L. Blake.
All states, various locations TBA

Book Launch: Australian Submarines Edition 2 - Dr M.D. White QC
All states, various locations TBA

RAN History Touring Display. 
All states, various locations TBA

Submarine History Showcase Naval Heritage Centre. 
NSW and Vic

Submarine OTWAY: 1968-1994 Reunion Dinner
Holbrook, NSW

Book Launch: The Mystery of AE1 and its Crew - Dr K. Spurling
Holbrook, NSW

RAN Exercises its Right to Freedom of the City/ ANZAC Day Parade
Holbrook, NSW

Public Ceremony Opening Day - AE1 Display
Holbrook, NSW

All states, various locations TBA

Book Launch: Australian Warship - Submarines - Mr P. Smith (SAA)
All states, various locations TBA

24 May Re-enactment: Centenary of AE1/AE2 Arrival
Sydney Harbour

AE1/AE2 & USN Submarine History Display
City of Albany History Centre

Book Launch: Stoker's Submarine (Rev) - Mrs E. Brenchley
All states various locations TBA

14 September Centenary of the loss of HMAS AE1 off New Britain
Papua New Guinea

Re-enactment of first AIF Convoy sailing from Albany, WA
King George's Sound, Albany

Commemoration of early submarine base, book launch
Geelong, Victoria

SUB 100 Week Freemantle, WA

7-Nov Freedom of Entry Parade
7-Nov Meet and Greet Function
8-Nov Submariners' Gala Dinner
9-Nov Fremantle Festival Parade
9-Nov Memorabilia Day
10-Nov Photo Exhibition Launch
11-Nov Remembrance Day
11-Nov Opening Reception, SIA Conference
12-Nov SIA 7th Biennial Conference Day 1
12-Nov AE2/Education Program with Schools
12-Nov SIA Conference Dinner
13-NovSIA 7th Biennial Conference Day 2
13-Nov SUB Film Festival
14-Nov Hail and Farewell to all visitors

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