Q Station Lecture Series – Sunday, 2 June 2013, 2-4pm
- Submarine attack in Sydney Harbour: Steven Carruthers
- Q Station at North Head - past, present and future: Suzanne Stanton
Submarine attack in Sydney Harbour: Steven Carruthers
Summary. Steven Carruthers is the co-author of a third book on the Japanese submarine campaign off the East Coast of Australia. A Parting Shot (Casper Publications, 2013) traces the story of the Japanese submarine shelling of Sydney and Newcastle—a story that until now, has not been fully told. Although casualties and damage were slight, the bombardments fuelled the real fear of an impending Japanese invasion. Revealing for the first time the contents of the bomb disposal squad war diary, the book painstakingly reconstruct events that occurred in both cities, including the search for, recovery and disposal of unexploded shells. In recounting this legendary tale, the authors also examine Australia’s east coast defences, the activities of the National Emergency Service, and the management and communications structures that were implemented during the early stages of the Pacific War. To put it all into context, the authors offer a Japanese perspective to the story through a critical account of Japan’s submarine operations, not only off the east coast of Australia, but also along America’s west coast and in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Why then did the Japanese launch submarine operations in Australian waters when they had no intention of invading? Were the bombardments revenge attacks following the Japanese defeat at Midway? What were the Japanese targets in Sydney and Newcastle? Were all the unexploded shells recovered? Steven answers these and other long-standing questions, dispelling many rumours and urban myths surrounding the Japanese submarine attacks. A Parting Shot is more than an account of a significant event in Australia’s wartime history—it is a landmark story about good luck, tragedy and courage.
Steven Carruthers was born in Wallaroo, South Australia, and began his work-life as a copy boy for an Adelaide radio station before joining the Royal Australian Navy from 1969 to 1977 as an anti-submarine warfare specialist, serving aboard the destroyer HMAS Anzac, the frigates HMAS Queenborough, HMAS Swan and HMAS Yarra, and the fleet aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne. During his service career he developed a keen interest in naval history. After serving his time in the RAN, Steven worked for a short period as a NSW Fisheries Officer in Sydney Harbour, tagging abalone for a research project, before going overseas to work as a commercial oilfield diver in the North Sea and Nigeria, West Africa. At the age of 32 years, Steven retired as a commercial diver to pursue his interest in writing. Steven’s previous books include Australia Under Siege (Solus Books, 1982), which was the first to challenge the official version of the attack on Sydney Harbour in 1942. Japanese Submarine Raiders 1942: A Maritime Mystery (Casper Publications, 2006) was his second book on the topic and presents new information about the Sydney Harbour raid. It also explores the role of censorship, which allowed the government of the day to cover up peculiarities in defence conduct, and even Australian casualties off the East Coast of Australia.
Q Station at North Head - past, present and future: Suzanne Stanton
Suzanne Stanton, Corporate Counsel, studied arts and law at the University of Sydney majoring in Australian Literature and Politics and then practised law for many years as a partner at Gadens. At Gadens she worked in the Corporate Group and later headed the Property and Construction Group. Suzanne advised major commercial clients on all aspects of their property development and holding portfolios working closely with their planners and architects in developing strategies for enhanced property management systems. She has acted for Mawland since the late 1980s, first on their project at Lilianfels and thereafter has been integrally involved in their property work, particularly in respect of negotiation and management of the Q Station leasing and development. She joined Mawland as Corporate Counsel in house in 2004 and is now a Director of Mawland Q Station Pty Limited. Suzanne is president of the Board of the Rainbow Club, a charity which works to provide swimming lessons to disabled children. She was previously a director of the YMCA and sits on the Ravenswood Foundation.