HMAS Creswell is located on the south-western shores of Jervis Bay in the Jervis Bay Territory, 180 kilometres south of Sydney. As part of a large national park and in recognition of its historical significance, Creswell was placed on the Australian Heritage Commission's National Estate register in 1981. Creswell consists of the Royal Australian Naval College and four other departments. The School of Survivability and Ship's Safety teaches fire fighting, damage control and nuclear, biological and chemical defence. The Beecroft Weapons Range across the peninsula offers targets for Naval Gunfire Support practice. The fourth department provides administrative support for all sections operating out of Creswell.
HistoryListed on the National Register as a significant heritage site, a quarter of HMAS Creswell's buildings are heritage listed. The establishment is surrounded by Booderee National Park and sits on the shore of Jervis Bay Marine Park. Navy and HMAS Creswell inhabitants have done much work over many years to ensure current and future generations can enjoy the location's pristine beauty.
Parliament selected the site of Captain's Point, Jervis Bay, for the Royal Australian Naval College (RANC) in November 1911. This site is the cradle of our Navy. Construction of the main college buildings was completed in 1915 and the first two entries of cadet midshipmen moved from the temporary college at Geelong in February 1915. The first graduation in 1916 included Midshipmen Collins and Farncomb, both of whom later gained flag rank.
Funding cuts driven by the Great Depression forced the closure of the college in 1930, which then relocated to Flinders Naval Depot (HMAS Cerberus). The buildings were leased as hotels and guesthouses, although Navy retained use of the waterfront and some married quarters. From 1944 to 1946 the RAAF 2nd Military Rehabilitation Unit was housed in some of the college buildings.
In 1987, the Staff Training School was established at HMAS Creswell. Now known as the Management and Strategic Studies Faculty (MSSF) delivered courses include Officer Leadership and Promotion Courses, Warrant Officer Promotion Course and Chief Petty Officer Promotion Course.
In 1993, the RAN School of Survivability and Ship's Safety was relocated to Jervis Bay and HMAS Creswell became the lead establishment for firefighting, damage control, and nuclear, biological and chemical defence training.