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New Navy Heritage Centre on Sydney Harbour.

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Media contacts Catherine Fitzpatrick (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7800 0405 351 245

Defence Media Liaison 02 6265 3343 0408 498 664

MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR THE HON ROBERT HILL Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate


Friday, 28 May 2004 96/2004


More than 500,000 items representing a century of Australia’s Naval heritage will be displayed in a new Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre on Sydney harbour, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today.

The centre will be built in the public access area at the northern end of Garden Island at a cost of approximately $5 million. Work is expected to begin in January.

It will consist of:

• Two converted heritage-listed buildings used formerly as a gun-mounting workshop and a boat shed;

• A landscaped area for large external displays; and

• A café and conference facility.

“The RAN Heritage Centre will be an institution of national significance,” Senator Hill said.

“It is a major commitment by the Government to conserving and opening up Australia’s rich heritage to the nation.”

Senator Hill said development of the centre was the culmination of the Navy’s re-invigoration of its heritage management.

The centre will exhibit at museum standard artefacts from the RAN Collection.

“The Naval collection is one of the largest of its kind in the world,” he said.

“It represents our Navy’s physical history and illustrates its role in the defence and development of Australia since colonial times.

“The exhibits will acknowledge the sacrifice of all those men and women who have served Australia so well in the past. They will also enhance the Navy’s internal ethos and further inform and educate the public on our Navy’s history through more than 100 years of peace and war.

“The RAN Heritage Centre will complement the work of other institutions such as the Australian War Memorial, Australian National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.”

Senator Hill said the Navy planned to operate the centre seven days a week and the public will be able to travel by ferry from Circular Quay to Garden Island.

“Visitors will also be able to enjoy the historic gardens and unparalleled views of Sydney Harbour in the public access area,” he said.