Our Club began in 1879 when Colonel Francis Downes, the then Commandant of the State Defence Forces, formed the Militia Officers’ Club of South Australia. The location was the old barracks behind the present State Public Library, and its function was to provide an infrastructure for the education of the officers in the State in military matters, by lectures and by the establishment of a library. It also provided social functions for Members.
In 1894, the name of the Club was changed from the Militia Officers’ Club of South Australia to the Naval and Military Club of South Australia to encourage a wider range of membership. It was not until 1943 that “Air Force” was added to our name.
After a number of location changes, the Club purchased its present fine accommodation in 1956 and began operating from these premises in 1957. The membership has continued to grow. The Club is proud of over 130 years of service to its members.
The Crest & Motto Of The Club
The original crest was Army inspired and, as it bears no direct resemblance to any British Regimental Crest, is thought to have been designed by a local artist. In 1947, the crest was re-designed to include the Tudor Crown for the Navy and the Eagle for the Air Force, in keeping with the tri-service nature of our Club.
The motto “Pro Aris et Focis” has British origins, being used by a number of British regiments and literally translates as “for hearth and home”.
Welcome to the Naval, Military and Air Force Club, our club was established in 1879 as an officer’s club, but over the past 137 years it has evolved from an officer’s club to the present day when it is a ladies, gentlemen’s and officer’s club. The Club has continued this evolution process to meet the needs of our members without losing our traditions or customs.
Our Club provides a facility where members can enjoy fine dining in the Colonel Downes dining room or convivial social interaction in the bar. Our business and industry members find our values and traditions are attractive and serve their need in a gentlemen’s club that provides excellence in service and surroundings.
The Club holds many functions both military and business, all club members are encouraged to attend any of our functions whether they have a military background or not. Many members utilise the club to hold business meetings or organisation seminars and private functions.
The Club was originally intended as a ‘home’ for officers to relax with their colleagues and friends and this is a tradition we are proud to continue today and the board is working towards being relevant and responsive to our members.
The Board is elected by the members to govern the Club in the interests of the members and in accordance with statutory and legal requirements. It comprises a President and Vice President and a number of elected members charged with the responsibility of managing the Club’s affairs in order to operate the Club in the best and most efficient manner possible having regard to member and legal requirements. Factionalism is discouraged. All formal complaints from members shall be directed to the Board and be dealt with by the Board.
The two principal committees of the Board are concerned with Operations & Property and Finance, Audit & Risk but there are various other informal committees connected with events, membership and activities within the Club. These committees have no direct authority and must keep the Board informed of what they are doing.
The Club’s Board is elected each year at the annual general meeting. The Board representatives are:
Group Captain Christopher Verco RFD MD FRCOG FRANZCOG
Captain Steve Pearson CSC RANR
Ms Elizabeth Olsson
Miss Kate Jeffery
Chaplain Carl Aiken
Lieutenant Colonel David Edmonds
Mr Jim McBride
Colonel John C Olson RFD
Immediate Past President
Mr Peter Summers OAM KGSJ
The Management Team
The Club Secretary is appointed by the Board to run the day-to-day operations of the Club, initiate and bring into force the policies of the Board and provide accurate and timely reporting to the Board and its Committees in whatever format is required and is conducive to good business practice. The Club Secretary is totally responsible for all staff matters but may request assistance at any time from the Board.
Our staff members are well-trained in their functions as well as being schooled in the protocols and accepted standards of the Club.
Mr Mark Jennings (Email Mark)
Senior Administration Assistant
Mrs Sandra Skedgwell (Email Sandra)
Mr Peter Milosevic
Front of House Supervisor
Miss Sarah Purdy
Member Communications Officer
Mrs Sarah Lewis (Email Sarah)
Finance / Payroll Officer
Mrs Trina Spilsbury (Email Trina)
Jacket and Tie
Gentlemen are expected to wear a jacket and tailored trousers, a shirt with a collar and tie at all times, unless a more formal dress such as a lounge suit, black tie or uniform is specified.
Ladies should dress conservatively and follow the same formal or smart casual dress code as gentlemen. Trousers, when worn, must be tailored.
(Shorts, leggings, T-shirts, tracksuits, training shoes and similar casual wear are not permitted).
Club Casual attire for gentlemen means tailored trousers or neat denim jeans, shirts with collars and sleeves (long or short), worn with or without a jacket or tie, or worn with a conservative pullover. Ladies follow the same club casual code as gentlemen.
An organiser/convenor who is hosting an event may select the dress code provided the event is being held in a private room. If guests wish to tour other areas of the Club, such as the Members Bar and Dining Room, then they must meet the minimum dress requirements. For Club events the dress code will be explained in the event details.
Please ensure that any guests you may bring into the Club also meet the above requirements. It is the responsibility of the Member to inform their guests in advance of the Club dress requirements, use of electronic devices and other Club protocols.
Members and guests residing in the Club may wear appropriate casual dress when when entering or leaving the Club. If they wish to utilise the Members Bar then they will need to meet the minimum dress requirement.
Click to download >> Floor Plan – Dress Standards & House Rules
Children 12 y/o +
Permitted in the Club at all times under supervision of an adult. Refer below for dress requirements.
Children 7 y/o —12 y/o
Permitted in the Long Tan Bar or at a private event under the supervision of an adult at all times.
School uniform, smart casual or jacket and tie.
Fleece jackets, sweatshirts or any coloured casual sports/leisure wear, rolled sleeves or athletic footwear are not permitted.
Mobile phones must be turned off or switched to silent mode at all times inside the Club. Where the relevant dress code is Club Casual text messaging is permitted at all times; and calls may be answered discretely before immediately moving upstairs, in the phone permitted areas of the Club, or to any temporarily unoccupied room to continue the conversation. Members and their guests may not speak on the phone in the hallway as it disrupts diners in the adjacent rooms.
Where the relevant dress-code is Jacket and Tie, calls must not be answered (except medical pagers) and text-messaging is forbidden.
The use of business papers, electronic tablets, laptops or similar devices is restricted to the booths only in the Members Bar, the Long Tan Room and the first floor.