The following information, in chronological order, has been taken from the National Board Minutes, Squadron Commodores Reports and other documents and notes available to me.

December 1960
Coast Guard in Victoria
Following the meeting at the Beaumaris Yacht Club and an article appearing in the local newspaper concerning the United States Coast Guard, the group from the Yacht Club decided to take some action and form a similar organisation in Victoria. This was the beginning of the Australian Coast Guard, (now known as the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association Incorporated).
14th September 1961
The first order of Australian Coast Guard was drafted and a provisional Flotilla VF1 Melbourne (Ormond) was established.
Flotilla VF3 Frankston was the first Flotilla in the Association to be Chartered. The Flotilla is located forty (40) kilometers south of Melbourne, Victoria. In 1965 VF1 combined with VF3 and both became VF1 Frankston.
October 1961
Coast Guard in South Australia
What began as a friendly meeting on the Labor Day weekend in October 1961 while cruising the River Murray at Mannum, Frank Johns on his cruiser “Gideon" with his family and friends Ken and June Coffey were invited aboard a craft skippered by Ron Carr. It was here that discussion ensued concerning the formation of a volunteer coastguard in South Australia.
November 1961
A preliminary meeting of the Australian Coast Guard SA District was held following an advertisement placed in the Adelaide Advertiser Newspaper by Ted Madden, seeking interested persons to form a similar organisation in South Australia. At this meeting it was agreed to find suitable premises to conduct a Basic Seamanship Course. The first course commenced on 5th May 1962 at the Shell Building, North Terrace, Adelaide with Ted Madden from Victoria as lecturer. This course was so successful a second course was held immediately and as a result, two Flotillas were formed, Doug Tait being Flotilla Leader for a short time then Max Able became Flotilla Leader of No 1 and Eric Rump Flotilla Leader of No 2. In early 1963 Port Broughton, Flotilla 3 with Ray Bartlett as Flotilla Leader was formed with a Fourth Flotilla formed in Adelaide with Ron Brill as Flotilla Leader.

As a result of advertising for a suitable Basic Seamanship lecturer, William Nelson Henry, professional Compass Adjuster was selected and paid £1 (two dollars) each evening while conducting the course. Bill Henry very soon joined the organisation. Within a short period of time conflict arose between various members of the executive and all South Australian Board positions became subject to National Board edict.
August/September 1963
“Operation Albury”, the River Murray Trip, a cruise from Talangatta to Goolwa was undertaken by three twenty foot cruisers, ‘Akroonah’, ‘Crusdaer’ and FV59 belonging to members from Victorian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Commodore Ted Madden, and Rear Commodore Weston-Smith who set out from Albury in August 1963. The 1390-mile voyage along the Murray River was to commemorate the opening of the river to navigation by the Paddle Steamer Albury in 1855. Two cruisers from the South Australian Division commanded by Commodore Carr and Staff Captain Johns joined the Victorian boats at Bow Hill in September. The last stage of the journey across Lake Alexandrina proved the most difficult with strong winds, bad weather and drifting debris. The voyage ended on 12th September 1963 with a parade through the streets of Adelaide.

NOTE: A full report of this voyage is included in the “Historical Documents of Interest File”
 16th September 1963
The South Australian Unit was reconstructed under the leadership of District Captain Bill Henry with Frank Johns as Vice Captain, Sam Aukland, Training, Lance Newman, Staff Officer, John Cook, vessel Examiner, Ken Coffey, Stores.

On 11th November 1963 a Certificate of Incorporation was issued to ‘The Australian Coast Guard Auxiliary of South Australia’. The influence of Bill Henry, later to become the first S.A. Group Commodore was evident at State and National level for the next three decades. Frank Johns was selected to represent Coast Guard on the Government committee to investigate and make recommendations regarding the control and safety of power driven craft and the licensing of drivers, from which the Boating Act 1975, was formed.
 26th September 1963
SAF1 North Haven, SAF2, SAF3, SAF4 were in operation SAF3 Port Broughton ceased to be operational on 31stAugust 1972 but reformed in 1976.only to cease operation again on 31st December 1996 with members joining SAF1. SAF4 in Adelaide grew in numbers to allow for the creation of Flotilla SAF5 with Peter Baulderstone, (later Commodore) as Leader. Flotilla SAF6 Lonsdale was formed in the southern area of Adelaide and SAF7 made a brief appearance on Yorke Peninsula. Country Flotillas were established during 1990’s at SAF8 Port Augusta, SAF9 Ardrossan and SAF10 Port Vincent. The first Flotilla Charter of the SA Group was issued to Flotilla No1 on 29th May 1968. The South Australian Squadron received its Charter on 15th November 1976.

Construction of the North Haven headquarters costing $195,000 began in 1980 and was officially opened on 22nd February 1981by the then Premier of South Australia David Tonkin who was made Honorary Commodore.

In 1986 the need for improved radio coverage was recognized. Land was procured at Myponga on the south coast and a UHF repeater Coast Guard Station was set up. In March 2001 due mainly to the untiring efforts of Vice Captain, Radio Logistics Andrew Newman, thirty-two (32) radio bases providing radio assistance were established.

SAF2 and SAF5 amalgamated with SAF1 on 21st July 2003.

Flotillas in operation in South Australia in 2006 were SAF1 North Haven, SAF6 O’Sullivans Beach, SAF8 Port Augusta, SAF9 Ardrossan, SAF10 Port Vincent, SAF11 Kingscote, Kangaroo Island.
 March 1964
The South Australian Ladies Auxiliary Club was formed, the first President was Mrs. S. Aukland and Secretary was Mrs. S. Bevan. The purpose of the Club was to raise money for the benefit of the Association.
New South Wales Squadron
The Australian Volunteer Coast Guard was formed in New South Wales in 1967 and covers an area from Port Hacking South of Sydney to Port Stephens north of Sydney. Mr. Ernest Tree held the position of Acting Squadron Commodore from 1967 to late 1969 when the Squadron was placed in the hands of a caretaker administration. This was an unsettling time in the history of the New South Wales Section of the organisation and negotiations were made with the Volunteer Coastal Patrol early in 1970, to work in closer co-operation. A “Memorandum of Intention” was drawn up and agreed to by both parties, however, because of insolvable difficulties, the agreement was terminated mid 1970.

Mr. Fred Lee who had been acting as Squadron Commodore of the N.S.W. Flotillas in 1970 was officially appointed Squadron Commodore in July 1973 with the authority to continue recruitment to the New South Wales Squadron. The Squadron is comprised of 7 Flotillas, NF1 Port Jackson, NF2 Botany Bay, NF3 Ku-ring-gai, NF4 Port Hacking, NF8 Swansea, NF14 Port Stephens, NF20 Tuggerah Lakes and the Solander Division Later, a National Board meeting in August 1976 authorised the formation of an additional N.S.W. Squadron, the Illawarra Squadron, (now known as the Southern New South Wales Squadron.)
NF1 Port Jackson Flotilla.
NF1 was the first Flotilla formed in New South Wales in 1967 and is based at Birkenhead Point Shopping complex, on Quayside Birkenhead Point. The entrance to the Base is graced by “Little Nancy” a dinghy donated to the Flotilla by the late National Commodore R.W. ‘Doc’ Hardie. The Flotilla maintains two SAR vessels. CG11” Garry Kiely” an 8m Marlin with 2 x 120 mercury inboard turbo diesels and CG12 “Drummer” with 2 x 150hp Honda outboards.

Since March 1992, NF1 has manned a category 1 Base at South Head Vaucluse in the premises of the “Old Signal Station”, a building steeped in History. Radios are manned twenty-four hours a day, a tradition which had been carried on continuously since 20th January 1790 by Government employees. The Flotilla has guardianship of the Ocean Reference Station Monitor which is owned by Sydney Water. The ORS is the most Hi-Tech in the southern hemisphere with full colour monitor registering wind direction, wind speed, wave height, wave period, water temperature, current set and speed in graph form over a twenty-four hour period and consistently updates every five minutes. The full history of the Old Signal Station appears in the ‘attachments to history’ file.
QF1 Southport
In 1965 Mr. Reg Leigh-Smith saw the need for a sea rescue group on the Gold Coast, Queensland. The group was first known as the Northern Rivers and Gold Coast Air Sea Rescue, later the name changed to Southport/Tweed Heads. Contact was made with National Commodore Madden and other National Officers to have the workings of the Australian Coast Guard Auxilliary explained, as this group was agreeable to have Coast Guard take over as a complete Flotilla. It was not until 16th May 1967 that QF1 Southport was formed, Graham Bond (a Water Policeman on the Coast) became the first Flotilla Commander. QF1 received its Charter on 2nd September 1969. The Charter was signed by National Commodore L. Swift and State Commodore Reg Leigh-Smith. The headquarters building was completed 28th October 1978 and officially opened on 2nd September 1979.
NF2 Botany Bay
As the designation NF2 indicates, Botany Bay Flotilla was the second Flotilla to be formed in New South Wales in 1967. Because of insurmountable problems the Flotilla was disbanded until 1976 when the Flotilla was reformed with assistance from NF4 Port Hacking who divided their membership and resources to enable the provision of service to boat owners in the Bay and Georges River areas. The first meeting of the reformed Flotilla was held at the Civic Centre, Carringbah in December 1976 with fifteen members in attendance. Two original members in 1967, Keith Garth (aptly described as the cornerstone of NF2) and Bob Wallace (setting a high standard in training) are still active with the Flotilla today.

Brian Gee was the first Flotilla Commander in 1976; Max Allen was Vice Commander Bob Mitchell was Training Officer and Reg Gilmore Staff Officer. The Flotilla received its Charter on 3rd March 1978, signed by National Commodore4 Norm Miles and New South Wales Squadron Commodore Jim Mortimer.
The first vessel acquired was a 20 foot steel half cabin which required refitting before being used as a rescue vessel. Refitting by members proved impossible and the vessel was sold as a bare hull.

In June 1983 the Flotilla amalgamated with NF12 Georges River and membership rose to seventy-two among whom were men whose organizational skill and experience have been significant in the growth and consolidation which has taken, place since. Prominent names include Ron Andrews, Commander of NF12, Bruce Bell and Ron Budds. Credit must also go to Kevin Berriman.

The first successful Flotilla owned vessel was CG166, a fourteen foot Manta, powered by a 40hp Mariner outboard, the purchase price being $4,573.00. Four years later the vessel was sold and CG171 “Dianne” was donated. This vessel was christened on 5th April 1987. Free storage facilities had been provided at Lewis Anchorage, Woolooware Bay and Flotilla meetings were held at the Revesby Workers Club.
On 18th February 2005 NF2 handled the entry of the First Fleet Re-enactment into Botany Bay with thirty-three vessels and crews from other Coast Guard Flotillas from Swansea in the north to Southern New South Wales assisting.
NF3 Ku-Ring-Gai Flotilla was formed in 1968 and provides a boating safety net over the Broken Bay and Hawkesbury River area just north of Sydney, New South Wales. Their rescue vessel “MMI”, a 7.8m Cougar Cat powered by twin 150HP Yamaha outboards was commissioned in October 1992.
5th June 1969
Les Swift, Victoria, edited and presented the first edition of “Boatmaster”
5th July 1969
Reference was made to having the Association registered in Canberra. Consideration was to be given to the motion to have State Registration as suggested by the Prime Ministers Office.
  • Ted Madden wanted to establish a National library of Text Books, Films and Training Aids and to create a Register of Licensed Instructors
  • Changes to the Constitution were to be made.
  • J.V. Arnott was compiling records of Coast Guard.
  • Promotion of an Auxiliary in Queensland and Northern New South Wales was successfully accomplished.

    National Board Officers:
  • L. Swift became National Commodore
  • E. Madden was National Training Commodore
  • J. Arnott was National Staff Commodore
  • E. Tree was State Commodore for New South Wales
  • D. Harper was State Commodore for Victoria, J. Hoskins was Vice Commodore
5th July 1969
A new Flotilla was formed at St. Kilda and a SAR Control Centre at Carrum was formed.

Approval was given to VF8 Geelong for the building of their Headquarters.

Commodore Henry was granted Life Membership of the Association and Substantive Rank of National Staff Commodore. Commodores Swift and Madden received Substantive Rank of National Commodore.
30th July 1969
With the success of a Coast Guard Base at Southport, Queensland, it was conceived that there should be a Coast Guard right around Australia. Commodore Reg Leigh Smith and Bruce Harris who was the Training Leader at Southport flew to Cairns and Mossman and visited towns right down the Coast meeting with Port Authorities, Harbours and Marine and Police to explain their ideas and were warmly received. They addressed the Rotary Club at Maroochydore and outlined the practical workings of Coast Guard.
8th November 1969
Reg Leigh Smith became the first State Commodore for Queensland.

An approach to request Prince Phillip to be appointed National Honorary Commodore was to be made by Sir Rohan Delacomb.