Below is a list of the HMAS Perth (I) Memorial committee members and the designers together with a short biography. This team is dedicated to the construction of a significant memorial dedicated to memory of those who served and lost their lives in the battle of Sunda Strait 1 March 1942.
Mike has nearly 50 years’ experience in the defence and oil and gas sectors. Initially with the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors, the design, construction and support organisation for the Royal Navy, he was trained in warship and submarine design and served on a variety of vessels from nuclear submarines to aircraft carriers in addition to being on the design teams for future warships.
Following a career change to the oil and gas industry, he moved to Singapore as senior naval architect with US offshore construction and installation multi-national McDermott Inc. He remained there for 6 years, involved with projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, Middle East and several other areas, before moving to Western Australia.
In Perth, he worked in both design and manufacturing before representing Babcock International (UK) in the establishment of a joint venture to manage the newly-built Common User Facility in Henderson. The manager, AMC Management (WA) Pty Ltd is now wholly WA-owned and Mike has undertaken two periods as General Manager, interspaced with the Project Management of a new floating dock and transfer system providing the largest docking capacity in the west.
He currently remains on the boards of AMCM and manufacturer, VEEM Engineering.
I am a CPA Accountant and Registered Tax Agent. During my working career I have held a variety of accounting positions and am now working for myself as a Public Practitioner, preparing income tax returns and helping my clients manage their financial affairs.
I am married with three adult children who were all former cadets.
LCDR ANC (Retired)
Having always been interested in all things Navy, papers requested, I was ready to sign up in the WRANS back in 1963 when I was side-tracked by my to- be husband. My interest picked up again in 1984 when my son asked to join the new NRC unit in Bunbury. The CO had a daughter, and her friend were incorporated into the unit (first females in WA NRC) and of course a female instructor was required – and as they say, the rest is history. My cadet commitments included Training Officer, Stores Officer, XO, weekend and annual training camps.
I moved to National HQ in the late 1990’s as the International Cadet Exchange – Overseas Liaison Officer. This involved finding and sending ANC staff and cadets to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden, UK, USA and Canada, and arranged many overseas cadet groups to join the ANC for interaction with annual training courses and sightseeing. I retired from the ANC in 2008.
I have a son and daughter, and they both joined the RAN, (one 7 years and the other 29 years). I have three grandsons and one granddaughter, all grown up and doing their thing..
CMDR Jim O’Neill
Project Manager HMAS Perth (I) Memorial
My Working career started out at Joyce Bros. O’Conner and then later Aherns Department stores Rockingham, Carousel and Claremont as a manage, buyer and then at Coles Myer (KMART) as Area Manager for Rockingham, Kwinana, Kardinya and Mandurah.
I then became an instructor for Interaction Manager Programs after which holding various Senior Managerial positions including, OH&S, Sales and inventory, Training, Human Resources, New works and Maintenance at Independent Timber Supplies until retirement.
My passion for all things maritime stems from my involvement with the then Australian Sea Cadets, Naval Reserve Cadets and now Australian Navy Cadets, joining in 1961 serving at: TS Creswell, TS Perth, TS Bedford, TS Anzac and The cadet Headquarters Holding positions of command including promotion to Senior Officer Western Australia Area retiring in 2008 after 47 continuous years.
I have held various memberships in many committees such as: Navy League Executive member since 1978 and am currently the Hon Secretary, Former Secretary/ Vice President of the Rotary Club of Rockingham, Former President of The Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, Former Chairman of the Rockingham City Merchants Association and Member of the Naval Association of Australia.
I am married and have 3 daughters.
James Terence O'Connor
Joined RAN at age 17, served in Far East in HMAS Quickmatch 1957/58 HMAS Melbourne 1958/1960, HMAS Gascoyne 1961/63.
Navigation and Direction Branch. Training PO in Gascoyne.
Emergency Reserve 1963/1968.
RAN Active Reserve 1977/1995 (Retired)
Served in Patrol Boats RANR
First CO Broome Naval Reserve Cadets (got them started)
Coastwatch Aircrew 1986/1988 (AFP/Customs)
Retired AFP 1992
Service Awards include Australian Service Medal, Borneo Medal. Foreign Award Pingat Jasa Malaysia (Malaysian Medal of Honour)
AFP Police Service Medal
Leut. RANR RTD
Publicity Officer HMAS Perth (I) Memorial
I am a retired electronics engineer, graduating from the University of Western Australia in 1972. I joined the RANR in the same year and served initially as an engineering officer at HMAS Leeuwin and latterly in NID at HMAS Stirling. After working as a communications engineer in West Australia for several years I moved to Scotland and worked for Ferranti and subsequently for Marconi Space and Defence Systems. I moved back to W.A. in 1976 and was employed as the engineering manager for a local communications firm until I started my own company, Omnitronics in 1981.
I have had experience as a director of a public company and been on the board of several organisations including the Australian Army Museum of WA and the founding board of the Gravity Discovery Centre. I continue to be involved with the AAMWA as their volunteer photographer, a position I also hold with the Highgate RSL Honour avenue Group who are responsible for the commemoration plaques installed in Kings Park.
I am married with two children and two grandchildren.
Joined the Royal Australian Navy at age 17 in May 1960. Postings of interest include HMAS Diamantina doing oceanographic surveys from December 1960 to July 1963.
I was on the commissioning Crew of HMAS Perth II (1965-66) in the USA Two deployments to Vietnam on HMA Ships Perth (1967-68) and Brisbane (1971), SAR Coxswain at HMAS Creswell in 1969 and fleet Training Group in 1972-74, administration Officer RAN Staff College in 1980 and then posted to HMAS Stirling December 1984 where I then Resigned in November 1985.
After 25 years in the Navy I spent 2 years in sales of communication antennas and radios, joined the Australian Naval Cadets at T.S. Marmion in January 1989 as an instructor/ Training Officer and retired as CO in 2003.
In 1993 I joined Perth Legacy as a Pension Officer and retired as Senior Advocate in 2018. Then becoming the Training Development Officer and Instructor in the Training Information Program (TIP), teaching Pension Officers and Advocates how to represent veterans with applications to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs from 1994 to 2009 and retiring as TIP Chair WA.
Joined Lions Clubs International in 1985 and I am still there.
An “Interesting Life,” to say the least.
I joined the Royal Australian Navy at age 17 in April 1963. My sea postings were HMAS Diamantine, Perth II and Swan. My land postings were HMAS Creswell, Leeuwin, Watson and Cerberus. I paid off after 10 years but completed a further 15 years in the RAN reserves. I also did a second posting to Vietnam as part of the Australian Defence deployment there.
I joined the HMAS Perth National Association in 1992 and as such had a lot of contact with the survivors of the HMAS Perth I. I am also the President of the W.A. branch of the HMAS Perth Association.
I have always had an interest in the Navy and all things maritime. Joining TS PERTH as a cadet of 13 started what has become a 38 year and counting involvement with the Australian Navy Cadets and the Royal Australian Navy. I am one of just three lucky people who have come full circle, back to command TS PERTH, the same unit I joined many years ago. A personal highlight throughout my time was being involved in the Commissioning of HMAS PERTH III in 2006.
For a number of years I have been the Vice President of Navy League in Western Australia, a position which continues to inspire me daily. I am honoured to hold this position and am proud of my goal to ensure the future of the League in WA.
I am married with three adult children, all of whom are former Navy Cadets.
I joined the ANC in 2009 as a cadet recruit after watching the TV Show “Sea Patrol” and having a love for all things military.
Transferring from TS Darwin to TS Perth in 2012, I would be promoted to Cadet Leading Seaman in 2013.
Later on I would leave school early to begin a traineeship with DMS where I would obtain My Coxswains and MED2 tickets, whilst still serving as a cadet in the ANC, where at the age of 18 I would decide to leave early and become a Staff member/volunteer instructor eventually holding the rank of Petty Officer ANC as the whole Ships Coordinator for TS Perth.
I have been a member with the Navy League since 2015 and on the Navy League WA Executive committee since 2016.
I currently am employed as an NDT Technician a new career which I thoroughly enjoy.
Representative of the families and relatives of the HMAS Perth (I) Crew. Only Son of Able Seaman Arthur Bancroft, a crew member of the HMAS Perth (I), who Survived the sinking, captured by the Japanese, Laboured on the Burma-Thai Railway, sunk again while being transported to Japan surviving 6 days adrift then finally saved by a US Submarine, returning safely to Australia before the end of the war.
Having been part of the HMAS Perth (I) extended family and the custodian of many stories and experiences of the crew I have met, it is my desire is to establish the HMAS Perth I Memorial, to enable the families and relatives a place to visit while remembering those they loved and lost.”
I am employed as an Accountant in the Educational not for profit sector, married with 2 Sons and 1 Grandson.
HMAS Perth (I) Memorial Designers
We are a team of artists and designers who have completed over 100 Memorials, Monuments, and public artworks, working with a highly skilled and dedicated group of professionals, including engineers and multi-disciplined technical assistants, since immigrating from Ireland to Australia in 1985. From the beginning of our ‘Australian Life’, we have been particularly involved in creating Military Memorials, initially as a result of winning the Competition for the National Memorial to the Australian Army, Anzac Parade, Canberra, dedicated for the Bicentenary in 1988.
Following on from this, we produced many Military Memorial projects, including: The National Memorial to HMAS Sydney II, Geraldton; The Joondalup War Memorial; The WA Australian National Service Memorial, Perth; The WW II war-time Prime Minister, John Curtin, Memorial, Fremantle; The Onslow WA Anzac Memorial and the Swansea NSW Anzac Memorial -together forming the largest Anzac Memorial entity in Australia; The HMAS Sydney II Memorial, Denham; The HMAS Sydney I / SMS Emden WWI Memorial, Cocos Islands; The Anzac Centenary Memorial, Ocean Reef; The Hugo Throssell Anzac Memorial, Northam WA; The Monument to the Australian Sailor, Fremantle and The Shire of Upper Gascoyne WA Anzac Memorial
Charles Smith & Joan Walsh-Smith
Designers, HMAS Perth(I) Memorial, East Fremantle