Emma's Speeches in Parliament

Merchant Mariners

December 03, 2018



Deputy Speaker

On Saturday I was privileged to attend the Annual Memorial Service for Merchant Mariners lost in Time of War at the Merchant Navy Memorial, Norah Head in the electorate of Dobell.

Today’s Australians are gradually learning about the vital role performed by merchant mariners during time of war and the Central Coast has special significance in the defence history of Australia.

The sinking of the MV Nimbin some 12 kilometres off Norah Head on the 5th of December 1940 and the lifeboat arrival of 25 survivors from the ill-fated Iron Chieftain on the beach at North Entrance on the morning of the 5th June 1942 wrote the Coast into Australian history.

The M.V. Nimbin and the S.S. Iron Chieftain were two of the fifty four merchant ships attacked in Australian waters during World War II of which thirty eight were sunk.

About 14,000 Australian merchant mariners served during World War II. The need for wartime secrecy prevented the publication of the names and locations of shipping casualties.

I would like to acknowledge a number of community groups and individuals who assisted with the service.

  • The Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve Trust, represented by Neil Rose
  • Father Peter Middleton, Mission to Seafarers
  • Marine Rescue NSW
  • Rural Fire Service, Wyong Operational Support
  • Dennis Outram, Deputy Branch Secretary Maritime Union of Australia
  • Mannering Park Sea Scouts
  • Soldiers Beach Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Brackets and Jam
  • Toukley Pipes and Drums, Pipe Major Duncan Lister
  • Aunty Bronwyn Chambers
  • Iain Steverson
  • Bob Wilson and Toukley RSL Sub Branch
  • Gorokan High School, Alexis & Chailend
  • Yasmin Catley MP for Swansea our Host
  • and MC David Harris MP