2022 Freedom of Entry Parade - Friday 21 October

Published on 13 October 2022

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Hundreds of locals and visitors are expected to line the streets of the Nowra CBD on Friday 21 October for a Freedom of Entry Parade. The military parade will mark the 75th anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. The formal ceremonial event will take place in the early evening and will also include a family friendly street party with live music, food and drinks, a flypast of Navy helicopters and a special Navy sunset ceremony.   

Shoalhaven City Council is encouraging residents from around the region to attend the historic event and cheer on Royal Australian Navy personnel from local bases HMAS Albatross, HMAS Creswell and the Fleet Air Arm.  

The granting of the Freedom of Entry to the City represents the highest civic honour that the City can confer on a military unit and is a symbolic honour, demonstrating trust, loyalty and sense of community between the City and the military unit. 

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley said, “We’re very excited to have over 800 military personnel from HMAS Albatross, HMAS Creswell and the Fleet Air Arm marching for their freedom of entry to the City of Shoalhaven”. 

“We’re inviting residents to come in early and secure a great spot to watch the parade march down Junction Street and then to stay around for the evening’s fun and festivities”, Mayor Findley said.  

“It’s a great opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Fleet Air Arm and to mark the invaluable contribution our local military personnel make to our region”, Mayor Findley said. 

Commodore David Frost from the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm said, “The 75th anniversary of the Fleet Air Arm is a significant milestone and as much about the future as the past”. 

“While we reflect on the distinguished service of our naval aviators, we’d also like to express our gratitude for the enduring support we’ve received from the public, in particular the Shoalhaven Community, in which we live and work in”, Commodore Frost said.  

“We invite the community to visit the home of Australia’s naval aviators, meet our people and see our capability up close,” Commodore Frost said. 

Local road closures will be in place to accommodate the parade and the street party, and local food venues in the Nowra CBD will stay open later for the event. The event is free to attend.  

Event timeline: 

6:20pm: Navy parade step off at the Nowra Showground. Over 800 military personnel from HMAS Albatross, HMAS Creswell and the Fleet Air Arm will march from Nowra Showground to the Freedom of Entry Challenge Point at Rauch Park, Junction Street.  

6:30pm: Freedom of Entry Challenge: The parade will be stopped by NSW Police and Local Indigenous elders at Rauch Park on Junction Street. Local Indigenous Elders will welcome the Navy to Country and conduct a smoking ceremony. NSW Police will request the Royal Australian Navy provide proof of the right and privilege to enter Nowra. The Navy will present to NSW Police a signed ‘scroll’ from the Mayor of Shoalhaven City Council, granting freedom of entry.  

6:50pm: Flypast of Naval Helicopters over the Nowra CBD. 

7pm: The parade will finish at the intersection of Junction Street and Kinghorne Street.  

7:10pm: Family friendly street party: The community is invited to join Royal Australian Navy personnel for a family friendly street party. Live music will be provided by the Navy Band and food and drinks will be available for purchase from local cafes, restaurants and food vans. Power FM Breakfast Radio Presenter Abby Hopkins will be your MC.  

8pm: The Navy Ceremonial Sunset will commence at the intersection of Junction Street and Kinghorne Street. 

8:30pm: The event concludes, and streets will begin to reopen to traffic from 10pm. 

For more information, including event times and road closure information, visit our events page.