Just for Kicks – Football Clinics

This was a fun project to work on…
“Just For Kicks Football Clinics is a dynamic football program that has been designed specifically for children aged 3-15 years old. Our clinics run inline within the school calendar and cater for beginners, intermediate and advanced to suit children who are looking to develop their football skills in a fun and safe learning environment. So whether your child has never played before, it doesn’t matter our experience and accredited coaches will develop their football skills. This is the perfect environment to give it a go.”

Large turnout for Longshot event at Ranelagh Club

Over 120 people attended a successful Project Longshot information afternoon at the Ranelagh Club, in Mt Eliza on Saturday,

Project Longshot is the mission the find the first Allied shot of the Great War: a 40 kilogram steel shell that Australian forces fired at the German cargo ship SS Pfalz from Fort Nepean on August 5th, 1914

The two-hour presentation introduced the First Shot story to Ranelagh Club members and guests from across the community.

Ranelagh Club president Lawrence Henderson opened the day with an emotional tribute to the Ranelagh Club’s longest-serving member and Kokoda veteran, Lionel Smith, before former Victorian Premier and Chair of the Victorian Anzac Day Committee, Mr Ted Baillieu spoke about his passion for Melbourne, its history and the global significance of the first shot.

Major Bernie Gaynor, Chair of the First Shot Committee eloquently recounted the events of August 5th, 1914 and entertained the audience with his enthusiasm and  knowledge of  the first Allied shot of the Great War.

He described the ill-fated life of the  SS Pfalz. After Australian forces seized the ship, the Pfalz became the HMAT boorara and served as an Australian troop-carrier in the Dardanelles and the North Sea. She was twice torpedoed and ended her life as a shipwreck off the Vancouver coast.

Margaret Robinson, grand-niece of Montgomery Robinson, the Australian pilot who allegedly scuffled with German captain Kuhiken for control of the Pfalz, shared some papers and cartoons of her famous relative with audience members.

Ken Penaluna, Grandson of gunner Edward Quirke, also attended with memorabilia.

Mount Eliza Secondary College students Harry Maxwell and Josh Daly built an information display for the event, centrepiece of which was a beautiful replica shell that Josh Daly and his grandfather made during the recent school holidays.

Project Longshot Team Leader Mark Ryan outlined a timeline for the mission and spoke about the technical difficulties of searching for a small object in such a vast area and the equipment they will need to find a six-inch shell under a metre of sand. Mr Ryan is founder of Souther Ocean Exploration, Australia’s moct successful shipwreck discovery team.

Filmamker Terry Cantwell spoke about the importance of local stories and closed the day with a call for community involvement in Project Longshot.

On August 5th, 2014 a special commemorative event will be held at Point Nepean fort, which is open to all Australians.


Project Longshot

The First Shot Event at Point Nepean

The Ranelagh Club


Short three-minute extract from Project Longshot presentation

A short three-minute extract of Mark Ryan presenting the Project Longshot story to the Victorian Sub Aqua Group at Bells Hotel in South Melbourne on April 14, 2014.

Project Longshot is a not-for-profit effort to find the first shot fired in the Great War, which was fired by Australian Forces at a German cargo ship that was attempting to escape from Melbourne on the day WW1 was declared.



“Action” makes History

By Terry Cantwell

The boat that  discovered Australia’s most searched-for shipwreck has become a historic vessel herself.

Justin McCarthy’s World War Two patrol boat MTB 02-14 Action has just been accepted onto the Australian Register of Historic Vessels.

Action will share this exclusive honour with notable vessels such as the beautiful schooner Alma Doepel, America’s Cup winner Australia 2, and Australia’s oldest surviving sailing vessel, The City of Adelaide.

Built in Brisbane in 1942 for the war effort, Action was one of twelve PT boats deployed by the RAAF as search and rescue vessels in New Guinea. The PT boat came under Japanese fire at Milne Bay, New Guinea as it rescued downed Australian airmen from the seas.

Action continued ceremonial duties after the war, such as carrying Queen Elizabeth across Sydney Harbour in 1953, before being sold into private hands at the Williamstown Yacht Club in 1960.

An Adelaide consortium purchased Action in the late 1970s and in the mid 1990s Action formed the platform for a television documentary about the Murray Darling Basin.

Justin McCarthy, a diver and member of Australia’s most successful independent shipwreck discovery team, Southern Ocean Exploration (SOE), purchased Action earlier this year.

SOE has since been using Justin’s PT boat as its primary search vessel.

In May this year Action discovered the wreck of the TSS Coramba, which sank in Bass Strait in 1934, taking 17 lives.

The Coramba was one of Australia’s most searched for shipwrecks. Its discovery closed a contentious chapter of Australian maritime history.

Justin McCarthy is delighted with his boat’s inclusion in Australia’s pantheon of significant vessels.

“It’s fantastic that she will be recognised for her part in our country’s history. It’s also wonderful that she is still contributing to our national story,” he said.

Other Media

Radio 98.7FM interview

Mornington News

Cranbourne News

Pakenham Gazette