The Australian Naval Institute organises a number of events each year, headed by its signature event, the Vernon Parker Oration and dinner at which the McNeil Prize is presented. The Prize was created in 2016 to honour an individual or individuals from Australian industry who have made an outstanding contribution to the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy. This award was named the “McNeil Prize” in honour of RADM Percival McNeil CB RAN.
The 2017 oration was delivered by Mr Ric Smith on 20 June. The title of his address was This Uncertain World – It’s not Just Trump. The 2017 McNeil Prize was awarded to Mr Peter Evans from SAAB Australia Pty Ltd. Mr Evans is an outstanding system engineer who has been instrumental in the development of the world class 9LV combat management system for the ANZAC class frigates, including the latest Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade being rolled out across the ANZAC Fleet.
The 2016 Vernon Parker Oration was given by former Defence Minister and Ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley.
Previous Vernon Parker Orations were delivered by, among others, former Defence Minister and Australian War Memorial Director Brendan Nelson and journalist and naval historian Mike Carlton.
Reports and texts of previous speeches are on the website. Vernon Parker was the first President of the ANI.
Also each year ANI holds the Goldrick Seminar, an academic seminar on a topic of major naval interest.
The 2017 Goldrick Seminar will be held in Canberra on 26 October on the theme Submarines Today and in the Future. This year the seminar is being held jointly with the Submarine Institute of Australia and the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (University of New South Wales – Canberra) at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
ANI also organises Maritime Events.
The key Maritime Event in September 2016 was a tour and briefing on board the fleet flagship HMAS Canberra. This provided an excellent opportunity to see first hand the impressive capabilities of the ship following her deployment to Fiji and participation in Exercise Rimpac 2016 off Hawaii. The event coincided with the launch of author (and ANI member) Mike Carlton’s book Flagship.
The first Maritime Event in 2017 was held on 27 April 2017 at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Nowra. The theme was future operations of the new Fleet Air Arm. The event combined presentations by Navy and industry, an open forum and tours of aircraft and facilities.