Marking the 100 years of the Royal Australian Navy this 'then and now' stamp issue features the Australian Navy's first flagship, battle cruiser HMAS Australia (I) and modern missile frigate HMAS Sydney (IV).
From settlement in 1788 to 1859, Australia depended on units detached from the Royal Navy based in Sydney to provide naval defence. In 1859, Australia was established as a separate British Naval Station and, until 1913, a squadron of the Royal Navy was maintained in Australian waters. This Australian unit was to be paid for and controlled by the Australian Commonwealth and was to be eventually manned by Australian personnel.
In 1909 discussions held between the British Admiralty and Australian government resulted in the establishment of an Australian Fleet Unit consisting of at least a battle cruiser, three second-class cruisers, six destroyers, three submarines and a number of auxiliaries. The ﬁrst units of this Navy, the destroyers HMA Yarra and Parramatta, reached Australian waters in November 1910 and in the following year on 10 July 1911, His Majesty King George V granted the title of "Royal Australian Navy" to the Commonwealth Naval Forces. On the 4 October 1913, the Australian Fleet entered Sydney Harbour for the ﬁ rst time and in October of the same year formal control of these units passed to the Commonwealth Naval Board, thus ending direct Imperial control.