Assisting you!

We can help you with your research.

Our researchers are never more than an email or phone call (02-9359 2372) away.


Some common research queries are about:

Australian Colonial navies

From the mid-1800's until Federation, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales created their own Colonial navies. These were responses to regional, political and other factors, including the British wars as well as the influence of the Admiralty and Colonial Office. The background, effectiveness, design and history of the ships and vessels of each navy are varied and the Society can help you with research into this interesting aspect of Australian history.

Royal Australian Navy ships

From 1901 until the present day, the RAN has built or operated hundreds of ships, of varying types and classes. Each ship has its own history, including political, technological and strategic factors. The Society has substantial resources that can assist with information about almost every ship operated by the RAN.

Australian Naval battles and operations

From the involvement of the Naval Brigade in the Boxer rebellion in 1900, the First World War though to Vietnam and current operations in the Middle East, and in the Pacific (for example, East Timor, the Solomons, Fiji ) and other places. The RAN has been involved on its own and with its allies to protect Australia.

The Society can also assist with background and information about battles and operations involving Australians and Australian ships. These include AE2 and the Naval Bridging Train at Gallipoli, the Battles of the Coral Sea, Java Sea, and Sunda Strait, the Mediterranean in World War II including Crete, Tobruk and the sinking of the Bartolomeo Colleoni .... by HMAS Sydney and the submarine attack in Sydney harbour leading to the sinking of HMAS Kuttabul. There is a long list and we will have information about them all.

Royal Australian Navy shore establishments

Information of RAN shore establishments in every state and territory.

Naval vessels and small craft

During World War II many small craft were formally taken up for Naval Service. Perhaps your vessel, or that of a family member or friend, was part of the Naval Auxiliary Patrol (NAP) during the attack on Sydney Harbour in 1942.

Medals and awards

We may be able to assist you research the history of medals and awards or find the correct source to make further enquiries about the medals or awards of a family member. Some medals are awarded for specific service in areas such as Vietnam of the Middle East. other medals are given for general service.

Ships' crests

If you would like a copy of a crest of a ship we can help. We can also give you the background to the design of a crest.