College Life - Naval College



When attending a residential course at the RANC trainees will be accommodated in communal living blocks. These include Collins, Farncomb and Dowling House. All accommodation blocks include a communal laundry, kitchenette and shared ablutions. Each trainee will be allocated a cabin which includes a single bed, desk with shelving, chair, bin and wardrobe or tallboy.

Farncomb House.
Farncomb House
Collins House.
Collins House

Drill and Ceremonial

All trainees will be instructed on Parade and Ceremonial drill. Drill instruction includes both unarmed and armed drill with rifle and swords. NEOC will conduct a number of Parades to commemorate their completion of different stages including Executive Officers Divisions, Commanding Officers Divisions and Graduation Parade.



Multiple facilities are available to trainees whilst on board HMAS Creswell. These include the College Dining Hall, Gunroom, Gymnasium, Medical Centre, Chapel, Post Office and Canteen.

All meals for trainees on course are through the College Dining Hall. The College Dining Hall can accommodate multiple dietary requirements and provides trainees with multiple options for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The Gunroom is a recreational space available to trainees at the RANC and includes a bar, lounge area, pool table, kitchenette with coffee machine and a reading room. It is a place for trainees to socialise and decompress outside of day to day instruction both on weekdays and weekends.

The Creswell Gymnasium includes a 25-meter lap pool, cardio and weights area and indoor basketball court. Trainees may access the gym and facilities outside of instruction. The gym is accessible 24 hours a day and pool hours are 0600-2030 on weekdays and 0700-1900 on weekends. Tennis Courts are also located on board and can be accessed on request.



There are 10 divisions at the RANC all named after distinguished RAN officers who have played a role in forging the ethos and history of today’s Navy. Trainees are assigned to a division on arrival on course, with up to 25 trainees in each Division. A Divisional Officer (DO) and Divisional Senior Sailor (DSS) are allocated to each division as supervisors and mentors for the duration of the course.

The NEOC divisions are Clarkson, Getting, Goldsworthy, Martin, McClemans, Moran, Streeter, Rankin and Waller Division. The Specialist Entry division is Syme Division.

Clarkson Division

Vice Admiral William Clarkson joined the South Australian Naval Service as an Engineer Lieutenant in May 1884. He served under Captain W Creswell, enthusiastic to develop an Australian Naval Force. In 1908-11 he oversaw the building of destroyers for the CNF, becoming the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Unit in 1911. As controller of shipping in WW1 he earned promotion to Rear Admiral in 1918, and by 1922 was responsible for guiding the RAN through a modernisation program, including construction of ships, submarines and establishing a Fleet Air Arm.

Clarkson died in Sydney on 21 January 1934, cremated with full Naval honours.

Getting Division

Captain Frank Getting joined the first intake of the newly established Royal Australian Naval College at Geelong, graduating in 1917 with Waller and Collins. The first Australian to pass the RN submarine commanders’ course, he commanded HMAS Oxley in 1928.

In 1940, he became Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, until 1942, when he was given command of HMAS Canberra (I). On 9 August 1942 during the Solomon Islands campaign, Canberra was engaged by the Japanese, taking 22 shells from close range as well as a combined torpedo attack. Severely injured and refusing medical aid, he remained at his post directing action.

Captain Getting was evacuated to an American Hospital ship but later died of his wounds and was buried at sea.

Goldsworthy Division

Lieutenant Commander Leon Verdi Goldsworthy joined the RAN Volunteer Reserve (RANVR) as an Acting Sublieutenant Rendering Mines Safe (RMS) officer in 1941 after being initially rejected for naval service due to suffering from hammer toes. He predominantly served in the European Theatre, demonstrating tenacity and bravery in one of the most dangerous fields in the Navy. LCDR Goldsworthy was awarded a George Cross and a George Medal for his work in recovering and defusing magnetic, floating and acoustic ground mines from 1943 to 1944.  Equal in stature to the Victoria Cross, it was awarded to recognise those who have displayed the greatest heroism or the most conspicuous courage whilst in extreme danger. During his operational career LCDR Goldsworthy rendered safe the first type K mine in Cherbourg and played a critical role training USN mine clearance divers in the Pacific Theatre. By the time the war ended, Goldsworthy had become Australia's most highly decorated naval officer, having been awarded the George Cross, the George Medal, Distinguished Service Cross and a Mention in Dispatches and is one of only eight people to have been awarded the George Cross and the George Medal. In retirement he became vice-chairman (overseas) of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association and was also the patron of the Perth Underwater Explorers Club.

Martin Division

Rear Admiral Sir David James Martin was educated at Scots College, Sydney, and in 1947 entered the Royal Australian Naval College, Flinders Naval Depot, Westernport, Victoria, as a Cadet Midshipman. After training in Britain with the Royal Navy, Martin served (1951-52) in the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney (III) during the Korean War. In 1953 he undertook further training in Britain and was promoted to Sub Lieutenant. Returning to Australia in 1954, he joined the aircraft carrier HMAS Vengeance the following year as an Officer of the Watch. The ship sailed to Britain to pay off, and the ship’s company transferred to the new aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (II). Promoted to Lieutenant in 1955, he was posted the following year to HMAS Torrens, a shore establishment in Adelaide. He joined the destroyer HMAS Voyager (II) in 1962 as gunnery officer and next year was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Martin left the ship in August - six months before it sank in a collision with HMAS Melbourne (II) on 10 February 1964.

Martin, who retired from the Navy in February 1988, possessed a ready smile and a sparkle of the eye that left a lasting impression on many he met. He was one of the most admired and respected naval officers of his era and his rapport with sailors was exceptional. Later in 1988 Martin received the New South Wales Father of the Year Award and in August he accepted the government’s offer to become the State’s 34th Governor. Sworn in on 20 January 1989, he was the first RAN officer to hold the position. In December he was appointed KCMG. Martin died at Darlinghurst three days later, on 10 August, and, after a state funeral, was cremated.

McClemans Division

Chief Officer Shelia Mary McClemans enlisted in the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) on 11 January 1943 at HMAS Leeuwin, Western Australia. As a WRAN rating she completed the first WRANS officer training course at HMAS Cerberus, Westernport, Victoria. Promoted to third officer on 15 February 1943, McClemans was appointed to the staff of the Director of Naval Reserves and Mobilisation, Navy Office, Melbourne, in May of that year. Her excellent leadership and organisational skills earned her rapid promotion being appointed second officer in July and first officer in November 1943. In January 1944 First Officer McClemans was appointed to administer the WRANS and in August she was appointed as the Director of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service.

Moran Division

Commander William Moran entered the RAN College in 1917. Specialising as a torpedo he joined HMAS Brisbane (I) and later served in HM Ships Conqueror and Valiant and, as Commander in 1939, was appointed to RANC.

In 1940 he joined in Canberra (I) and by 1941 had assumed Command of Vampire (I).

He led the night attack on the Japanese invasion fleet at Endue, Malay in January 1942, being mentioned in dispatches twice for his actions.

Commander Moran went down with his ship when Japanese aircraft off Ceylon sank Vampire (I) and the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes on 9 April 1942.

Streeter Division

Superintendent Joan Streeter joined the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) as a Writer on 25 January 1943 and commissioned on 26 May 1943 at Flinders Naval Depot, VIC. She served in HMA Ships Penguin, Kuranda and Rushcutter in various staff and welfare positions. Demobilised on 8 November 1946, she re-joined when the WRANS were reconstituted in 1951 at the outbreak of the Korean War. Rising to become Director of the WRANS – the first Australian woman to hold the position, Streeter worked assiduously to expand the numbers of naval servicewomen and to widen the employment categories open to them. A persistent and determined advocate for the welfare of her charges, she was influential in developing government policy to encourage women to enter naval careers. She strove to improve conditions of service, including providing better training and standards of accommodation, and permitting servicewomen to contribute to the military superannuation scheme and being primarily responsible for the retention of women in the service after marriage; introduced in 1964. Demanding high professional standards, she was a capable leader and administrator. At the commencement of her directorship, the WRANS had been a small temporary force; on her retirement in April 1973, it had become a permanent force within the Navy, 750 strong. Superintendent Streeter was loved by all, commonly referred to as Ma’am WRANS.

Rankin Division

Lieutenant Commander Robert Rankin joined RANC in 1921, graduating to join HMAS Brisbane (I) in 1925 and later completing his Warfare Officers course in England.

During the first two years of WWII he surveyed the Pittwater area, before assuming command of HMAS Yarra (II), conducting numerous convoys around Indonesia.

On 4 March 1942 five Japanese warships were sighted. Rankin scattered the convoy and laid smoke, putting himself between the ships and the enemy. Out-gunned and closing to point blank range, Yarra became a smoking wreck, but her guns were still firing. Lieutenant Commander Rankin was lost with his ship's crew in this final engagement.

Waller Division

Captain Hector Waller joined the RAN College in 1913 and in 1917 joined HMS Agincourt, moving to the cruiser HMAS Melbourne (I) in February 1919.

In 1929, he joined HMAS Australia (II) and later became Executive Officer of RANC. He went on to Command HMS Brazen and, by 1939, HMAS Stuart (I), which fought at the battle of Matapan.

On 28 February 1942 as Commanding Officer of HMAS Perth (I), he encountered an overwhelming Japanese force in the Sunda Strait. An outstanding officer of his generation, Waller went down with his ship early on 1 March, his death described as “a heavy deprivation for the young Navy of Australia”.

Syme Division

Hugh Randall Syme worked in the newspaper industry before joining the RAN as a probationary Sublieutenant in Melbourne in 1940. He was one of the first Australians chosen to serve in the Royal Navy’s Rendering Mines Safe (RMS) section where he quickly gained a reputation for courage and tenacity.

In 1941 Lieutenant Syme was awarded the George Medal for his composure in defusing ten mines while on operation in the European Theatre in WWII. In June 1942 he was awarded a Bar to his George Medal for disarming a mine that had lodged deep in clay of a reservoir embankment and saved an entire neighbourhood of civilians. In 1943 Syme was awarded the George Cross for carrying out 19 mine recovery operations, including the defusing of the new Type T mine. During this latter act of bravery, Lieutenant Syme endured painful electric shocks while insulating the detonator wires and at one stage hung upside down in a mud hole to render the mine safe. Syme demonstrated excellence and diligence working in this exceptionally dangerous field which often included disarming laid and booby trapped mines at great personal risk.