Harman, Australian Capital Territory

Harman, Australian Capital Territory

Harman is a suburb in Canberra, Australia. The postcode is 2600. The suburb is located near Queanbeyan, New South Wales, but on the Australian Capital Territory side of the border. Harman is located south of Canberra Avenue. HMAS "Harman" is a multi-user base for Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army forces. The location was selected inland because it was safe from air, land and sea attacks.

In the base are the Morgan Dunbar Oval, and Sir Victor Smith Oval. There are also a tennis courts, and gymnasion staffed by physical trainers. The base covers an area of 2.5 square kilometers. Twenty five Navy families have residences in the base. 970 people work at the base.


Functions performed at HMAS Harman include:
*Naval Communications Area Master Station Australia -NAVCAMSAUS - supports and tasks Navy fleet communications
*Naval Communications Station Canberra - NAVCOMMSTA Canberra provides UHF satellite communications for the Australian Defence Force
*Defence Information Systems and Communications Establishment - ACT --DISCE-ACT
*Defence Network Operations Centre -DNOC
*Australian Army and Naval Cadet units, TS CANBERRA which meets on Saturday morning.
*Two units of the Army Reserve.
*Administrative and personnel support for the RAN in the Canberra area.
*Naval Police Coxswain's office
*Weapons training
*Australian Naval Reserve support


In 1924 the Imperial Defence Committee's Communications Sub-Committee examined Australian coastal radio stations, and recommended the modernisation of the stations at Darwin, Perth, Rabaul and Townsville.In the 1925 the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board made a recommendation that two wireless stations be provided for the Navy in Canberra and Darwin. These would be strategic stations in addition to the coastal stations. Canberra was chosen because it was remote from the coast and thus safe from enemy attacks. Planning continued in 1935, where a new Canberra station would add to the coverage area of Rugby, and function as a fall back in the event of the destruction of submarine cables, or the Hong Kong or Singapore wireless telegraphy stations. The government decided to build a receiving and a transmitting station in 1937. Potential sites were visited by the Director of Signals, Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) and Department of Interior representatives. The transmitting site was chosen to be Ginninderra Creek in Belconnen. The original receiving site was selected as Red Hill. AWA tested the locations. On 6 September 1938 the government approved the use of the sites in Belconnen and Harman. The Canberra station started construction in November 1938, and was established on 20 April 1939 and started transmitting on 22 December 1939. The Harman station construction started in early 1939. It was registered with the Postmaster General's Department on 20 July 1939 where the name Harman was first used.


The name Harman is derived from two surnames:
*Director and Assistant Director of Signals; Commander Neville "Har"vey, of the Royal Navy
*Lieutenant Commander J.S. New"man", of the Royal Australian Navy

Newman and Harvey were responsible for naming the new naval stations. They sent proposals to the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board (ACNB) for approval. The Darwin station was called "Coonawarra", a direction finding station near Perth was called Jandakot, the Ginninderra Creek station was called Belconnen. The ACNB showed little interest so as a joke Newman and Harvey proposed the combination of their names for the receiving station. This was approved by the ACNB.

World War II

World War II was declared while the station was still under construction.

Commander Newman was promoted when the station first opened and became the officer in charge of the Station. He stayed in this position until 1941 when he was replaced by Officer-in-Charge of the Station. The station was renamed to HMAS "Harman"' on 1 July 1943.

Initially the facilities included Number One Receiving Station which became the Communications Centre, an aerial farm behind the building, a direction finding hut located 1.2 km away on a ridge, cottages and guard houses. Later, Number Two Receiving station was built for 'special tasks', a recreation hall was opened 27 April 1941, and a mess hall was finished around the end of 1940. In 1943, a second mess was built.

HMAS Harman provided radio coverage of the Pacific Ocean during world War II. Women of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS), formed in 1941, operated the equipment. A memorial celebrating the work of women in the RAN is located in Harman.Harman has a motto "NE CEDE" which is Latin for "Do Not Yield". The motto was granted in 1964. There is also a crest. A blue field represents the electromagnetic ether, a thunderbolt is a symbol of electricity, and a gold ring represents broadcasting. This ring surrounds a globe.


* [http://www.navy.gov.au/HMAS_Harman Navy establishments]

ee also

*"HMAS Harman 1943-2003 - A History of HMAS Harman and it's people" by Lieutenant Annette Nelson, DC-DC Publications 1993.

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