Mal Lancaster’s photographs

Squadron Leader Mal Lancaster, Shoalwater Bay, Queensland, 1999

31655-2-1 Shoalwater Bay, Queensland, 1999

Born in Allora Queensland on the Darling Downs in 1941, Mal Lancaster enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on 22nd October 1959. After graduating from recruit training at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria, he was sent to HMAS Albatross, the navy’s main naval air station, in Nowra, NSW for specialist training as a photographer.

Mal was transferred to Navy Headquarters in Canberra where he took on the role of Naval Public Affairs Press and Cine photographer, capturing the RAN in action all across the globe.

RAAF Iroquois helicopters approaching HMAS Tobruk for landing, 1982

31655-2-8 RAAF Iroquois helicopters approaching HMAS Tobruk, Moreton Bay, Queensland, 1982 

Mal produced news items of Australia’s Navy ships and their crews in the Indonesian Confrontation, Vietnam, Japan, the Antarctic, Egypt and Israel and in America.

During the Vietnam conflict, he brought images into Australia’s homes for the first time.

Portrait of Squadron Leader Lancaster, 1985

31655-1-2 Squadron Leader Mal Lancaster, Amberley, Queensland, 1985

After he left active military service in 1969, he and his wife moved to Brisbane where he was appointed to the position of RAAF Public Affairs Officer, Queensland, pending the arrival of the F-111 Strike Force at RAAF Amberley. Mal held the position until he retired in 2000.

Self portrait, Mal Lancaster, 1982

31655-2-44 Mal Lancaster in the cockpit of an F-111, Amberley, Queensland, 1982 

Mal Lancaster was been awarded the 1984 Nikon Press Photographer of the Year Award as well as multiple RAAF Heritage Awards. In 1994 he was awarded the Public Service Medal and received a Reserve Force Decoration for his service on the RAAF Reserve.

Selected images from this collection have also been included in the new digital installation at the state’s war memorial, Anzac Square in Brisbane, due to open mid 2019 .

View the collection:
31655 Mal Lancaster’s photographs of Royal Australian Navy and Defence Public Affairs events

Marg Powell | Specialist Library Technician | State Library of Queensland