Delivered at the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Naval Institute held on Friday. 24 October 1980. in Canberra, A. C T
This last year has been another year of considerable progress for the Institute.
His Excellency the Governor General Sir Zelman Cowen, AK. GCMG. GCVO. KStJ, OC. became Patron of the Institute in May this year This honour at the present stage in our history is something of which all can be proud
The principal activity of the Institute remains the ANI Journal and its quality continues to improve, with the number of articles submitted by members increasing with time and with the interest in, and demand lor, it increasing Nevertheless, the scope and quality of the Journal must, as in the past, continue to be subiect to budgetary considerations.
The ANI collection of books which is forming the basis of a library is steadily expanding in volume and in quality Our stocks were boosted recently by a generous donation by the Canadian High Commission of books on the official histoiy of Australia in both world wars, presentations by Admiral Sir James Eberle KCB and the Heavy Engineering Manufacturers Association The policy regarding administration of the collection will be a matter for consideration by the incoming council
Your Council has continued to be concerned as mentioned in my last annual report, that our annual subscription, having regard to inflationary and other pressures, might not be sufficient to meet the needs of the Institute in the years ahead The annual subscription of $10 has not changed since the inception of the Institute but costs are increasing and Council has placed an item on the agenda for this Annual General Meeting regarding a variation in subscription rate.
Your Council has been very mindful of the need to address the longer term aspects of management of the Institute and the need to develop policy and procedures related to this. Specific actions taken during the year by Council have included: the establishment of a Financial Sub Committee: a policy on insignia trading whereby we ensure there is trade on a no loss' basis; a policy on the preservation of investment reserves against erosion by inflation and consumption of earnings; a policy of establishing procedures to reflect costs of prizes and medallions in the accounts of the year in which they are presented, investigations into appropriate investment avenues; development of a yearly budget as an integral part of the financial process; and a decision that the journal editor should be an office bearer, subject to the necessary constitutional amendments in due course I am confident that these measures should assist in keeping the Institute on a firm financial basis in the years ahead
The membership of the Institute continues to increase steadily. This year has seen an increase of some 70 members resulting in a total of 478 financial members Noting this continuing and encouraging trend your Council has given some thought to our future administrative capacity to run the Institute effectively in the coming years, recognising that all office bearers are volunteers and tasks undertaken can be at times quite lime consuming It will be a matter for consideration during the coming year tor the new Council to gauge the future administrative capacity and perhaps to consider whether, in the longer term, some semi permanent assistance might be appropriate to ease the burden from some of the councillors and enhance the growth of the Institute
The outstanding success of SEAPOWER 79 led the Council to examine the question of holding another national SEAPOWER seminar After much deliberation your Council decided that there would be considerable merit in holding another seminar two years, as opposed to three years, after the last seminar This decision and subsequent planning has occupied much of the Councils time The Seminar — SEAPOWER 81 — will take place on 10-11 April 1981 in Canberra You will appreciate that the final program for the Seminar is not quite set in concrete' yet as some speakers have to confirm their willingness to participate We do know, however, that SEAPOWER 81 will be opened by His Excellency the Governor General and such distinguished overseas speakers as Admiral of the Fleet, the Lord Hill-Norton, Admiral Sir Anthony Griffin and Sir Ronald Swayne have accepted invitations to participate.
Included amongst the Australian speakers who have accepted are Sir Arthur Tange, Mr Kevin Gosper. Professor Wolfgang Kasper, Dr Robert O'Neill. Mr Neil Stevens. Mr Rollo Kingsford-smith. Mr Peter Scott Maxwell and Air Commodore Geoffrey Michael
Captain Nigel Berlyn has accepted the task of being Seminar Director and judging by his efforts to date and those of the team of members he has gathered to assist, the Institute can look forward to another successfully organised seminar in 1981
Before concluding I would like to pay tribute to the activities of the various chapters During the year the council decided to keep the chapters informed of proceedings and to correspond regularly with the convenors and, as a matter of policy, space is made available in the Journal, for reports of their activities
The Sydney Chapter met on three occasions. Presentations were given on the US Coast Guard by Vice Admiral R. I, Price USCG. on the Sea Harrier by Mr John Fozzard and Mr Nat Gould of British Aerospace and on the US/Soviet strategic relationship by Dr R. N Lebow
The activities of the Canberra Chapter are again worthy of mention also. At the last Annual General Meeting. Mr John Hazell of KrLpp-Atlas Electronik addressed members on the theme of Industrial support for maritime power', a topical subject which will be pursued during next years SEAPOWER 81 seminar Mr John Fozzard. Marketing Director of British Aerospace addressed the Canberra Chapter in December on the subject of The Impact cf VSTOL Aircraft on Maritime Operations of the Future' The highlight of the year was an address by Admiral Sir James Eberle KCB. the Commander-in-Chief Fleet, given in July at which about 200 members and guests attended Also represented were the USI, Navy League. Naval Association, Naval Historical Society, the Committee for the Establishment of a Centre for Maritime Studies plus the British High Commissioner and the UK Naval Adviser
In summary, his has been another important year of progress for the Institute. The decision to hold a seminar in 1981 augers well for this coming year I am sure that the valuable work being done by those involved in planning SEAPOWER 81' will ensure that it will be as important a milestone in the Institutes activities as was SEAPOWER 79'.
In conclusion. I would like to mention that during the year there has been a number of changes in the Council and I take this opportunity to thank without reservation, all councillors for the dedication and time they have given to the Institute. I am confident that members would agree with me that your Journal Editor, Captain Sam Bateman, deserves special mention I wish also to express my appreciation (or the continuing support of all members It is this dedication, time and support which augers so well for the future of the Institute