New Entry Officers’ Course (NEOC) 61 Graduation

27 November 2019 to 28 November 2019

From 7:00pm Wednesday, 27 November 2019 and 09:00am Thursday, 28 November 2019

Royal Australian Naval College (RANC), HMAS Creswell

New Entry Officers' Course - Joining Instructions.
New Entry Officers' Course (NEOC) 61 Graduation Information for Guests
PDF, 101KB

This information has been provided to help you plan your attendance for New Entry Officers’ Course (NEOC) 61 Graduation Events at the Royal Australian Naval College (RANC), HMAS Creswell. Included is general information on the local area, Creswell and the order of events that can be expected over the two days. If any further information is required, please contact your graduating member.

The information on the website following the above paragraph is within the attached PDF document.


Please note that seating and viewing areas for the parade are not under cover; you may wish to bring sunscreen and/or hat, and bottled water. You will be required to walk from the carpark to the Parade Ground over grassed areas and uneven ground; sensible footwear is recommended.


Lounge suit; equivalent for ladies (medals optional)

Current serving members

  • Navy: All ranks - S2
  • Army: 2 A/C Ceremonial Dress
  • Air Force: 1 A/B/C
  • Foreign Military guests: equivalent Ceremonial Service Dress (less sword)


Creswell is situated in Booderee National Park and adjoins the pristine Jervis Bay Marine Park. Driving time from Sydney CBD along the Princes Highway takes approximately three hours. It is recommended that you arrive at Creswell at least 30 minutes prior to event commencement.

From Sydney Airport

  • Heading south follow the road signs towards Wollongong
  • Travel along the Princes Highway in a southbound direction, this will lead you onto the Southern Freeway
  • Continue along the freeway, which merges into Mt Ousley Road, here you will descend down Mt Ousley
  • Once at the base of Mt Ousley, follow the road veering right onto the Princes Highway. Travel through the towns of Albion Park Rail, Berry and Nowra
  • At Falls Creek, approximately 10 minutes south of Nowra, turn left onto Jervis Bay Road Follow Jervis Bay Road for approximately 20km, through the Booderee National Park gates then turn left onto College Road, which leads to the Creswell gangway
  • On arrival at the gangway, your invitation and photographic ID will be checked and you will then be directed to parking.

Guests with accommodation in the surrounding area can follow the directions detailed above. Follow the designated signs for each individual village.

Admission into Booderee National Park

On approaching the National Park entrance gates, advise the attendant you are attending the parade activities being held in Creswell as payment of the parking and use fee is waived for visitors to the Base itself. If you wish to explore the National Park, you will be required to pay the park use fee at the entrance gates, or ticketing machine, located in the Information Centre car park.

Access to Creswell

Invited guests will be able to proceed through the Gangway (Main Gate) from 6:00pm on the evening of the Ceremonial Sunset and again from 7:30am for the Graduation Parade.

You must bring your original invite; this invite assists with access checks. All adults in a vehicle must have photographic ID. If you have been provided with an assisted parking pass, this must be displayed on the dashboard of your vehicle.


Nowra is located approximately 42km or about 40 minutes from Creswell. A range of accommodation is available in Nowra or the nearby coastal villages of Vincentia, Huskisson, Sanctuary Point, Hyams Beach and St Georges Basin. The local villages are popular tourist destinations and offer a number of clubs, takeaways, small eateries and restaurants from which to choose.


There is no public transport available to or from Creswell (travelling time from local villages ranges from 10 to 15 minutes by motor vehicle); therefore, you will need to organise your transport between Creswell and your accommodation.


Jervis Bay Post Office and the Navy Canteen, both located onboard Creswell, offer retail facilities including light refreshments and banking needs (EFTPOS is available). Naval memorabilia will be available for purchase by guests prior to the Graduation Parade adjacent to the parade ground (EFTPOS available).

Beat to Quarters and Ceremonial Sunset

Beat to Quarters and Ceremonial Sunset are perhaps the oldest and most significant of naval ceremonies and are derived from the age of sail. Steeped in naval history, they are now usually conducted to conclude days of special importance. Beating to Quarters stems from the 17th century when a drum roll, or beating of drums, was carried out in warships when an enemy ship had been sighted, or to signify a ‘call to arms’: a call for the ship’s company to man their quarters. In today’s Navy, ship’s companies are called to 'action stations' by loud electronic alarms.

The Ceremonial Sunset salutes the lowering of the Australian White Ensign at the close of the day, and is conducted by ships in harbour as well as shore establishments. At sunset in the days of sail it was prudent for Captains of ‘men-of-war’ to prove their gun powder was dry and ready for the next encounter. This was done by firing an evening gun and having the marine detachment fire a fusillade of rifles. NEOC 61 will recreate these traditions in a ceremony held on the Quarterdeck Creswell.

The order of events for the evening will be:

Gangway opens for arrival of invited guests
Reception at Geelong House for invited guests
Commanding Officer Creswell and VIPs arrive
Bugler sounds a fanfare for the introduction
Ceremony commences

NEOC Reception

The NEOC reception is an opportunity for trainees to invite members of their family and friends to a pre-Ceremonial Sunset reception of light refreshments. This is a social event where guests can meet with the invited VIPs, College staff and other members of the course. The reception will commence at 7:00pm on Wednesday 27 November 2019.

Graduation Parade

The Graduation Parade marks the conclusion of the course. The New Entry Officers are paraded as a guard on the Quarterdeck and marched past the Reviewing Officer in ceremonial uniforms.

The parade will feature a number of drill movements performed by the Guard, and will conclude with the traditional ‘advance in review order’ synchronised with a fly past by naval aircraft.

The following is a general outline of the day's events:

Gangway opens for arrival of invited guests
Guests to be seated
March-in and parade the Australian White Ensign
NEOC Guard and RAN Band march on
Arrival of the Commanding Officer of HMAS Creswell
Arrival of the Reviewing Officer
Reviewing Officer inspects the Guard and RAN Band
Naval prayer led by the Chaplain of HMAS Creswell
Address by the Commanding Officer of HMAS Creswell
Address by the Reviewing Officer
The march past
NEOC Guard march off to return weapons
Graduates return to the Quarterdeck in their Divisions for the prize and award ceremony
On completion, graduates retire for official photographs and Divisional Officers
will distribute graduation certificates to the graduates

Prizes and Awards

Prizes and awards have been established to recognise the achievements of individual officers who have consistently performed to the highest standard throughout their training.

Official Photographs

Official photographs will be taken with the Reviewing Officer and Commanding Officer of HMAS Creswell on completion of the parade. After official photographs are taken, graduates will be able to reunite with family and friends.

Graduation Luncheon

There is an opportunity for graduates to invite members of their family and friends to a post-parade luncheon. This is a social event where invited guests can meet with the VIPs, College staff and NEOC graduates. The luncheon will be conducted in the Geelong House Auditorium commencing at 11:00am.