Media Release – 4 August 2017
NEW MEMORIAL TO RECOGNISE LOST SUBMARINERS
A major milestone in the history of Australian submarines and those who served in them will be recognised in a special ceremony on Sydney Harbour.
The ceremony will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of the HMAS Platypus submarine base and will include the dedication of a new Submariners’ Memorial to honour the 42 submariners who have died while serving in Australian submarines.
“The event will be of great historical significance for Australian submarines and submariners in recognising the role both have played in protecting Australia’s national security,” said the President of the Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA), CDRE Mark Sander (retired).
“HMAS Platypus, in Sydney, was the home of Australia’s Oberon-class submarines from 1967 until 1999, and the first of these submarines, HMAS Oxley, arrived in Australia – from the UK – 50 years ago, which will also be acknowledged.
“The opening of HMAS Platypus and the arrival of HMAS Oxley marked the genesis of Australia’s contemporary strategic submarine capability.”
The ceremony, which will take place on the morning of Friday, 18 August, will feature a number of dignitaries, including the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN and CDRE Sander.
The keynote address will be delivered by Vice Admiral Ian MacDougall AC AFSM RAN (retired), a former Chief of Naval Staff who was the Executive Officer of HMAS Oxley when it arrived in Australia.
The dedication of the Submariners’ Memorial will take place following the speeches.
Wreaths and floral tributes will be laid on the new memorial, which features the names of all six Oberon-class submarines.
Media representatives/organisations who wish to attend the event and/or broadcast speeches live should register their interest with the SIA by close of business on Thursday of next week (10 August).