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HMAS Success Model ship at Cockatoo Island.

Great success: Model ship completes Cockatoo Island voyage

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3 min read
An artefact from Cockatoo Island’s storied shipbuilding era has been returned to its rightful place in the heart of Sydney Harbour!

On Wednesday (6 Dec), a large model ship, which had been housed at the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre on Garden Island, was transported to Cockatoo Island by Royal Australian Navy personnel.

The 9-metre-long model is a detailed, to-scale replica of HMAS Success, which has the distinction of being the final ship built at Cockatoo Island Dockyard. The 157-metre-long combat logistics vessel was laid down at Cockatoo Island on 9 August 1980 and launched on 3 March 1984 – an occasion marked by much fanfare. It was subsequently commissioned on 23 April 1986 and remained in service for a further 23 years.

The HMAS Success model, like the real-life vessel, was built on Cockatoo Island. It was assembled during the 1980s as part of a training project for dockyard apprentices spanning multiple disciplines. It arrived on the island in four pieces together with a switchboard, which had been used to control a series of lights as well as various miniature winches.

A team of skilled heritage restoration volunteers will now work on cleaning, reassembling and repairing the model so that it can be enjoyed by the public in the future. This work will also involve restoring the switchboard to working order.

We wish to thank the Navy for ensuring the model’s safe return to Cockatoo Island. We are also grateful for the passionate and diverse group of volunteers who’ll be returning it to its former state of glory.

Learn more about HMAS Success here

Learn about Cockatoo Island’s former dockyard here.


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Looking to learn more about Cockatoo Island? Here are some useful links.