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Thu, 07 Mar

|

Adelaide

Military History Lecture & Dinner

This talk sets the scene by outlining Kanimbla's initial deployment, subsequent re-engagement on Phase II, and the crash of Shark 02.

Military History Lecture & Dinner
Military History Lecture & Dinner

Time & Location

07 Mar 2024, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Adelaide, 111 Hutt St, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia

About the event

Military History Evening

Thursday, 7 March 2024

Topic: Operational Fatalities and Notifications

Guest Speaker: Commander Alan Williams, RAN (rtd)

On Boxing Day 2004, an intense earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused several tsunamis which struck the shores of Asian and African countries, with devastating effect. Indonesia was the worst affected country, with more than 150,000 deaths. Australia responded to the crisis by deploying ADF personnel, the AFP, and Australian aid workers on Operation Sumatra Assist and Operation Sumatra Assist Phase II. Having completed her role in Operation Sumatra Assist, HMAS Kanimbla departed.

However, on 28 March 2005, after an earthquake occurred off the Sumatran coast and the island of Nias suffered a humanitarian disaster, the ship was ordered to turn around and head to Nias to provide relief; Operation Sumatra Assist II. Shortly after their arrival off the coast of Nias, one of Kanimbla's helicopters, Shark 02, suffered a mechanical failure and crashed. Of the 11 ADF personnel on board, nine died. With global communications and the media's appetite for a breaking story, it was important to notify the families of the deceased ADF members as quickly as possible.

However, on 28 March 2005, after an earthquake occurred off the Sumatran coast and island of Nias suffered a humanitarian disaster, ship was ordered to turn around head provide relief; Operation Sumatra Assist II. Shortly their arrival Nias, one Kanimbla's helicopters, Shark 02, mechanical failure crashed. Of 11 ADF personnel board, nine died. With global communications media's appetite for breaking story, it important notify families deceased members as quickly possible.

This talk sets the scene by outlining Kanimbla's initial deployment, subsequent re-engagement on Phase II, and the crash of Shark 02. It then shares a personal account of the very challenging task of notifying the deceased members' next of kin.

Time: 1830 lecture begins; 1930 dinner

Members Price: $75.00; $15.00 lecture only

Non-Members: $85.00; $15.00 lecture only

Dress: Jacket and Tie

RSVP: By 5PM, Monday 4 March 2024

(Bookings cancelled after the RSVP will incur a 50% charge of the ticket price)

Guest Speaker Biography

Alan was born and raised in Canada, emigrating to Australia in 1986. He joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1989, receiving the RAN College Medal for outstanding performance. Alan has held a range of training, staff, operational and representational appointments. Some of his highlight postings in a broad and varied career include serving on exchange with the Royal New Zealand Navy, as the Senior Naval Officer of Australia’s Federation Guard and Captain of the

Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace.

In 2009 he deployed to the Middle East and on return to Australia, took up a position as a Directing Staff member at the Australian Command and Staff College. He was appointed Commanding Officer Navy Headquarters South Australia with effect January 2012. During this time Alan and his wife, Trudi, decided that rather than return to Canberra, Adelaide was to be their long-term residence. Alan took up an engineering position at the Air Warfare Destroyer Systems Program Office in Osborne, where he completed his full-time service in November 2018. Alan and Trudi are now enjoying retirement with travel, good food, and fine wineIn

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