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May 26, 2011
By LEUT Todd Austin
TOM Tilley from radio station Triple
J recently attended a 'Navigating
the Change' workshop at HMAS
Kuttabul to compile a report for the
Mr Tilley attended module one --
Values and Behaviours -- along with
22 sailors and officers. He interviewed
a number of attendees about New
Generation Navy (NGN) and the final
story, which featured several of those
interviews, went to air on May 9.
Course facilitator LCDR Lesleigh
Mather said Mr Tilley's attendance
represented the first steps in making
Navy more transparent to the media.
"It gave voice to Navy people
around the issues of our behaviour,"
"Doing this allows the community
to have a better awareness of what
Navy is doing to bring about cultural
The NGN program engages with
Navy people and integrates their ideas
into the tools required to deal with
NGN has been in operation for
more than two years and has imple-
mented a range of tools and programs
to ensure Navy moves forward by lev-
eraging from our many positives and
empowering people in developing an
The activities and workshops
incorporated into NGN are at the lead-
ing edge of corporate improvement
and have attracted the attention of the
The Hack report on NGN can be accessed
through the Triple J website at www.abc.
Further information on the NGN
'Leadership and Ethics' workshops can be
found at http://intranet.defence.gov.
SAILORS around the country paused
to remember the 69th anniversary of
the climax of the Battle of the Coral
Sea on May 7.
At a service in Canberra, Chief of
Navy VADM Russ Crane said many
have called it the battle that saved
"The battle was a remarkable and
decisive encounter during which two
aircraft carrier groups fought each other
from over the horizon for the first time
in naval history," he said.
The RAN made a significant con-
tribution to the battle. One of the task
forces was led by Australian ADM
John Crace and included HMA Ships
Australia and Hobart.
"While it was considered a tactical
victory for the Japanese it was a stra-
tegic turning point for the Allies in the
Pacific," VADM Crane said.
"After the battle the Japanese were
forced to reassess their New Guinea
campaign and they were weakened prior
to the Battle of Midway."
VADM Crane said in the days fol-
lowing the battle it was apparent that
the Australian people were re-energised
and injected with new courage and vig-
our after what had been described as
Australia's "darkest hour".
"We continue to remember and hon-
our their sacrifice today as a turning
point in the war and in our relationship
with the US. As Australians, we remain
grateful for the Americans who came
to our aid and with whom we fought as
one," he said.
In Brisbane 350 people gath-
ered on what was once the "Brisbane
Line" to remember the Australians and
Americans who served and perished in
During the darkest days of World
War II it was deemed a line be drawn
at Brisbane from which Allied forces
would make a final stand to save
Australia. It is why US GEN Douglas
MacArthur set up his headquarters in the
Fortunately, it was the Battle of the
Coral Sea that repelled and diverted
the Japanese forces posing a threat to
Speaking at the service, Graham
Perrett MP, representing Prime Minister
Julia Gillard, told those gathered around
the Australian-American War Memorial
in Newstead Park that he remembered
contemplating how close Australia came
to being invaded.
Mr Perrett's own reflections were
a prelude to him delivering a message
from the Prime Minister. US Consul
General Niels Marquardt also delivered
a message from US President Barack
The memorial service was conducted
in perfect weather with Navy Chaplain
Bill Pearson leading the prayers.
LEUT Jeff Wreen, the bandmaster
for the US Seventh Fleet, flew in from
Japan with 16 musicians, while CPO
Andrew Stapleton led the 19-member
Queensland detachment of the RAN
Band. The Defence Force School of
Signals at Cabarlah provided a RAN
guard and catafalque party led by LEUT
Before the service began, the
Commanding Officer of Navy
Headquarters South Queensland, CMDR
Lachlan King, escorted the Acting
Governor of Queensland and Chief
Justice Paul de Jersey during the guard
and band inspections.
For a detailed historical account of the battle,
visit Navy's website at www.navy.gov.au/
Coral Sea battle
The Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942 has been called
the battle that saved Australia and 2011 marks
69 years since Australians and Americans came
together to fight off advancing Japanese forces, as
Graham Davis reports.
VALOUR: A sailor from
Guard forms part of the
catafalque party during
the Battle of the Coral
service in Canberra
on May 7 while, inset,
a poster from the era
depicts the fear many
Australians had about
an imminent invasion by
Photo: POIS Ollie Garside /
poster courtesy www.navy.
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