The Home of the Victorian Navy
The Victorian Navy, which was centred at Williamstown, guarded the colony from maritime threat for half a century before the federation of the colonies into one nation in 1901.
It was the first Navy created on the continent of Australia. The ‘Victoria’, the ‘Cerberus’ and the ‘Nelson’ (whose anchor is displayed on Commonwealth Reserve, Nelson Place, near the Tide Gauge House) were among the battleships of the Victorian Navy, and after federation, the Royal Australian Navy.
The Williamstown Dockyard has been a ship-building site since 1913, and in the 1970s and 1980s was modernised by the Australian Department of Defence to build frigates and destroyers. Today, Williamstown is still a vital construction centre for Australia’s naval defences.