The Royal Australian Navy welcomed West Australians to HMAS Stirling at Garden Island in Rockingham on 2 November to support the 11th annual Port of Fremantle Maritime Day.
"As an island nation, the Royal Australian Navy plays a vital role in maritime security and the protection of Australia’s national interests," Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said.
The public were treated to first-hand experiences that take place on Australia's largest naval base at Garden Island in Western Australia – including a number of static and interactive displays like a Collins Class submarine, which will be berthed in Fremantle Harbour for the day.
"Events such as this gives Navy the opportunity to showcase the wide range of professions that its members are engaged in on a daily basis," Minister Reynolds added.
"Fremantle played home to more than 150 allied submarines at various stages of the Second World War, as well as a number of warships and support craft."
The family orientated day featured up to 90 displays from a number of organisations and community groups and is expected to attract around 20,000 visitors.
"Fremantle continues to play a significant role in Australian trade and other maritime activities with more than 34 million tonnes of cargo moving through the port every year," Minister Reynolds said.
The presence of an Australian Collins Class submarine at the Fremantle Maritime Day reflects the growing focus on Western Australia and the role Australia's submarines play in the national security equation.
This is reflected in a joint media release from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister Reynolds from 26 October, which highlighted the growing importance of the capabilities.
"As the Indo-Pacific region experiences a new era of strategic competition, our submarine fleet is vital in keeping Australians safe and our sea lanes open. Today our fleet of six Collins Class submarine incorporates the most advanced technology of any conventional submarines," the joint media release stated.
It added, "This cannot be achieved without the skills, courage and professionalism of our hard-working submariners. Being a submariner is no easy job. We ask our people who protect our nation to spend long periods of time away from their families, and they often can’t talk about what they do.
"But it is also a highly rewarding career, working around the world on one of our best navy assets with a crew of great mates. The Navy has been an integral part of the nation it has served with great distinction for over a century. We are rebuilding our fleet and transforming our navy to ensure a potent capability for whatever challenges this century brings our nation."