Chief of Navy Australia

Chief of Navy Australia Badge

The Chief of Navy Australia is the most senior appointment in the Royal Australian Navy. The rank associated with the position is Vice Admiral (3-star). The Chief of Navy Australia (CN) has overall command of the RAN and all uniformed naval personnel, regardless of where they work in Defence. Additionally, the Chief of Navy Australia is the principal naval adviser on strategic affairs and provides advice to the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) on current capability, military affairs and future capability development; and also represents the RAN on various higher defence committees.


The Chief of Navy Australia is responsible to Chief of the Defence Force and the Secretary of the Department of Defence, for:

  • Providing naval forces that:
    • contribute to the ADF’s capability to ensure the defence of Australia and its direct approaches
    • contribute to the security of Australia’s nearer region
    • support Australia’s wider regional interests and a rules based global order
  • Raising, training and sustaining naval forces by proper stewardship of human, financial and environmental resources
  • Providing timely and accurate advice to the government on strategic direction and military capability of both the current and future force.

The Chief of Navy Australia delegates responsibilities to five principal subordinates within Navy Strategic Command and Fleet Command. These are:

  • Deputy Chief of Navy and Head Navy People Training and Resources (DCN / HNPTAR)
  • Head Navy Capability (HNC)
  • Head Navy Engineering Regulation, Certification and Safety (HNE)
  • Commander Australian Fleet (COMAUSFLT or Fleet Commander)
  • Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N).

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN assumed command of the Royal Australian Navy on 7 July 2018.

Public speeches given by the Chief Of Navy Australia are available in either HTML or PDF format.

VADM Michael Noonan

Vice Admiral Michael Joseph Noonan

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1984, trained as a seaman officer and then subsequently completed Principal Warfare Officers course and specialised in Air...

List of Previous Chiefs of Navy

VADM Sir John Augustine Collins
(1948-1955)

Vice Admiral Sir John Augustine Collins

John Augustine Collins was born in Deloraine, Tasmania, on 7 January 1899. He was the son of the late Dr MJ Collins and Mrs Collins, and a brother of Dale Collins, the Australian novelist. He was one...

Colvin, Sir Ragnar Musgrave
(1937-1941)

Admiral Sir Ragnar Musgrave Colvin

Ragnar Musgrave Colvin was born on 7 May 1882 at Whitehall, London, son of Clement Sneyd Colvin, civil servant, and his wife Alice Jane, née Lethbridge. He joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet in HMS...

ADML Sir George Francis Hyde
(1931-1937)

Admiral Sir George Francis Hyde

George Francis Hyde was born at Portsmouth on 19 July 1877. At the age of 17 he went to sea as an Apprentice in the steel clipper Mount Stewart, completing several round voyages from London to Sydney...

VADM Sir William Rooke Creswell
(1904-1919)

Vice Admiral Sir William Rooke Creswell

William Rooke Creswell was born on 20 July 1852 at Gibraltar, son of Edmund Creswell, the colony's deputy-postmaster-general, and his wife Margaret Mary Ward, née Fraser. Educated at Aitken's Private...

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