HMAS Cerberus (naval base)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMAS Cerberus and HMVS Cerberus.
HMAS Cerberus
HMAS Cerberus.png
Ship's badge of HMAS Cerberus
Active Flinders Naval Depot (1911–1921)
HMAS Cerberus (1 April 1921–present)
Country Australia
Branch  Royal Australian Navy
Type Training
Role Officer and Sailor Training
Based near Crib Point, Australia
Motto(s) Forever Vigilant
Captain Steven Bowater AM, RAN
Unit Awards Governor's Cup - 2012
HMAS Cerberus
HMAS Cerberus is located in Victoria
HMAS Cerberus
HMAS Cerberus
Location in Victoria
Coordinates 38°22′01″S 145°11′13″E / 38.367°S 145.187°E / -38.367; 145.187Coordinates: 38°22′01″S 145°11′13″E / 38.367°S 145.187°E / -38.367; 145.187
Population 1,085 (2011 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 3920
LGA(s) Shire of Mornington Peninsula
State electorate(s) Hastings
Federal Division(s) Flinders

HMAS Cerberus is the Royal Australian Navy's primary training establishment,[2] located adjacent to Crib Point on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is also an official bounded locality of the Shire of Mornington Peninsula. At the 2011 census, HMAS Cerberus had a population of 1,085.[1]


The site for the Cerberus naval base on Hanns Inlet, between Sandy Point and Stony Point on Western Port Bay was purchased in 1911. The 15 square kilometres (5.8 sq mi) base was opened in September 1920 and became known as Flinders Naval Depot in 1921. The Post Office opened on 2 December 1912 as Flinders Naval Base, was renamed Flinders Naval Depot in 1925 and HMAS Cerberus, Westernport in 1963.[3] HMAS Cerberus now occupies most of Stony Point to the north and all of Sandy Point in the south.

From 1930 until 1958, Cerberus was the home of the Royal Australian Naval College, until it was clear that the base was becoming overcrowded and the College was moved back to HMAS Creswell.[4] With the outbreak of World War II, many temporary buildings were erected to facilitate the training of wartime recruits. Many of these buildings were later demolished or replaced.


The primary role of HMAS Cerberus has always been the training of Navy personnel. With the establishment of four tri-service schools over the last 13 years, this role has been extended to training Army and Air Force personnel. Specific courses offered include: the School of Survivability and Ship Safety which specialises in fire fighting, damage control and nuclear/biological/chemical defence; and seamanship and weapons training.

The base is also the home of the Recruit School – for all sailors their first contact with life in the Navy. HMAS Cerberus comprises numerous training and recreation facilities, two chapels and a small marina. Training is provided for about 6,000 personnel annually, averaging 800 trainees at any one time.

Training facilities[edit]

HMAS Cerberus currently host to the following naval training schools

  • RAN Recruit School
  • SSSS (School of Ship Safety and Survivability)
  • Seamanship School
  • Defence Force School of Signals – Maritime Communications and Information Systems Wing
  • Engineering Faculty
  • Medical Training School
  • Supply School
  • Gunnery School
  • Small Arms Training School
  • WTSS Range
  • ADF School of Physical Fitness
  • ADF School of Catering

Recruit School[edit]

Recruits train at HMS Cerberus during World War II

The RAN recruit school is where all full-time and reserve general entry sailors complete their training. The full-time recruit course is 11 weeks in duration, and gives sailors the skills and knowledge required to conduct basic duties in the RAN, and prepare them for their specialised roles.

Recruits join the RAN in monthly intakes, and these recruits are placed into one of four divisions. The recruits stay with their division for the entire 11-week course. Some of the training and education conducted in the recruit course are:

  • Teamwork exercises
  • Uniform wearing and maintenance
  • Drill and discipline
  • First aid
  • Survival at sea
  • Basic ship maintenance and corrosion control
  • Operation and proficiency on the service firearm, the F88 Austeyr
  • Ship and sea combat survivability
  • Physical training and fitness
  • Basic seamanship

Part of the course includes a two-and-a-half-day sea familiarisation course.

Engineering Faculty[edit]

The engineering faculty is where Marine Technicians, Electronics Technicians, Marine Engineer Officers and Electronics Engineer Officers complete their employment training.


The base had until 2010 an Australian Rules football team competing in the Southern Football League,[5] as well as a hockey club competing in the Hockey Victoria competition. Golfers play at the Cerberus (HMAS Cerberus) Golf Club on Stony Point Road.[6]

Memorials and colours[edit]

Retired colours of George V and VI

Numerous memorials are at the base with many including stained glass windows in the two chapels: Our Lady of the Sea (Catholic), and St Mark's (Anglican/interdenominational). St Mark's chapel also houses retired King's/Queen's colour flags of George V, George VI, and Elizabeth II.


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "HMAS Cerberus (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  2. ^ HMAS Cerberus
  3. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 11 April 2008. 
  4. ^ HMAS Creswell History
  5. ^ Full Point Footy. "Southern Football League". Retrieved 21 October 2008. 
  6. ^ Golf Select. "Cerberus". Retrieved 11 May 2009. 

External links[edit]