Unveiled in 1986 by Her Majesty the Queen and marking the 75th Anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Anzac Parade memorial – also known as “Sailors and Ships – Interaction and Interdependence” – symbolises the mutual dependence of sailors and their ships, its dynamic force complemented by the image of moving water.

142The design, by Ante Dabro, represents Naval duty as being constantly watchful, vigilant and ready and able to make an immediate disciplined response. The geometric shapes symbolise a ship, and the emerging figures portray a range of ranks and activities commonly associated with Navy personnel.

The memorial is a very fitting tribute to and is dedicated to all those who have served or are serving as permanent or reserve members of the Royal Australian Navy.

The RAN has served with distinction during both World Wars, the Malayan Emergency and also in the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf wars and has made a significant contributions to peace
operations in the Middle East, Somalia, Cambodia, Bougainville and East Timor.

Walk around the sculpture not only to look at the interaction between sailor and ship, but also to listen to the water (when it’s running – which it wasn’t when I took the attached pictures). Each element has a distinctive sound – for example, the bow wave has a slight hiss and the main gush of water behind the sculpture throbs as though driven by propellers. There is the sound of water cascading from a submarine’s tower and the general turbulence created by a ship’s passage.


A re-dedication ceremony, to mark the centenary of the first fleet entry of the RAN into Sydney in 1913, occurred for this memorial on 1 March 2013 during which new battle honour plaques were unveiled.

Address: ANZAC Parade

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