Action Stations

Action Stations

Explore the danger and drama of Navy life in this hi-tech and immersive exhibition.



Action Stations is an exciting way for you to experience the compelling history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Explore the danger and drama of military life at sea through a hi-tech and immersive journey that shows the inner workings of the Navy like never before.

This exhibition reinterprets and enlivens our much-loved ex-RAN vessels: HMAS Vampire (Daring class destroyer) HMAS Onslow (Oberon class submarine) and HMAS Advance (Attack class patrol boat).


Immersive Cinematic Experience

Visitors inside the immersive cinema experience

A thrilling short film on a giant screen with exhilarating sound will transport you inside Vampire and Onslow during operations. Experience the force and vastness of the ocean, the speed and power of the destroyer and the submerged stealth of the submarine. Leave the cinema space excited to explore the actual vessels you have just seen depicted in dramatic action at sea.

Discovery & Exploration Space

Visitors in the discovery and exploration space in Action Stations

Welcome to over 100 years of Navy vessels and Navy history.

This space features a huge interactive table with large touchscreens, highlighting a range of global political contexts from WWI to the present day, and illustrating how the RAN responds to Australia’s needs in a constantly changing world. You can also learn more about the submarines AE2 and AE1, as well as maritime archaeology.



At the 2016 NSW Architecture Awards Action Stations, designed by studioplusthree, won an award in the Small Projects Architecture category. The Waterfront Pavilion, designed by francis-jones morehen thorp, received a commendation in the Public Architecture category.


Winner – World Architecture Festival 2016 (Display - Completed Buildings category)
Winner – NSW Master Builders Awards 2016 (Public Buildings + Best Use of Steel)
Winner - National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) Excellence Awards (Commercial – Small Projects)
Winner – Sydney Design Awards 2016 - Architecture - Public or Institutional - Constructed


Winner – Museums and Galleries of NSW - Imagine Award 2016 for Exhibition Projects (museums with 11+ staff)
Winner - 2016 Australia Institute of Architects NSW Architecture Awards - small project architecture category – for the fitout of the Action Stations multi-use space
Winner - 2016 Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Award (MAPDA) - Action Stations website
Winner Silver – 2016 International Design and Communications Awards (IDCA) Best Scenography for a Permanent Exhibition
Highly Commended – 2016 Museums and Galleries National Award (MAGNA) Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fit Out

Visitor experience lead: Michael Harvey
Interpretation, curators, digital curators and curatorial assistants: Dr Nigel Erskine, Donna Carstens, Melinda Robertson, Michelle Linder, Dr Stephen Gapps, Dr James Hunter, Nicole Cama, Penny Edwell, Dr Mary-Elizabeth Andrews, David Payne, Kiern Hosty, Dr Lynda Kelly
Interpretation and design: Alex Gaffikin, Jeff Fletcher, Dr Lynda Kelly, Stephen Hain, Peter Buckley, Stephen Crane, Kevin Bray, Adam Laerkesen, Tom Wilke, Gemma Nardone, Adrienne Kabos, Heidi Riederer

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