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Listed under:  Armed forces  >  Military service  >  Conscription
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Fighting conscription, 1966

What would you do If your government tried to force you to fight in what you believed to be an unjust war? Conscription (compulsory military service) was instated in Australia in 1964. From 1965 to 1972, Australian troops, including conscripts, were sent to the Vietnam War. Listen to US President Johnson encouraging Australians ...

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Conscription in the 20th century

This collection examines the history of conscription in Australia, with a particular focus on the conscription debate in World War One and during the Vietnam War.

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The pros and cons of National Service

The National Service scheme was introduced to Australia in 1964 by the Menzies government. Young men whose birthdays were drawn in a ballot spent two years training in the 'Regular Army Supplement', then three years in the Regular Army Reserve on a part-time basis. National servicemen were likely to be sent to fight in ...

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Australia and Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was a war fought between North and South Vietnam in the 1960s and the 70s. How did Australia become involved in this war and how did it ultimately change Australia? Find out about the attitudes of the public to the war in the 1960s and 1970s, and how it shaped the Australian Government's decision to be involved ...

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Luck of the draw: the Vietnam 'birthday ballot'

How would you feel if your birth date was picked out of a barrel, lottery-style, and you were ordered to report for military duty? This was the fate that awaited the men whose birth dates were chosen in the Vietnam ballot. In this clip, watch the process the Australian government put in place to choose men for this life-changing ...

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Turning young civilians into regular soldiers

Australia was not the only country to debate the issue of conscription. This Movietone newsreel from the late 1930s shows Great Britain considering the merits of conscripting young men into the armed services.

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Anticonscription demonstration, Melbourne, c1916

This is a black-and-white photograph measuring 15.5 cm x 10.9 cm, of a street demonstration against conscription, taken during the First World War. It shows a long line of marchers, including two men carrying a banner inscribed 'IF BLOOD BE THE PRICE OF YOUR CURSED WEALTH, GOOD GOD WE HAVE BOUGHT IT FAIR'. The line of marchers ...

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Reinforcing the 39th on the Kokoda Trail

On 21 July 1942, thousands of Japanese troops landed on the north coast of Papua in order to advance south along the steep, muddy Kokoda Trail. Their objective: capture Port Moresby. In this clip from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, find out how reinforcements from the Australian Imperial Force's 21st Brigade contributed ...

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Melbourne moratorium against Vietnam War

It's 1970 and the streets of Melbourne are clogged with protesters who want to end Australia's support for the Vietnam war. But they are not the only ones who have turned out. There are those who support the war, curious onlookers, and members of the press. The different views of those in attendance hint at the unrest caused, ...

Online

World War I - the Western Front

In this learning activity students locate and sequence the places where Australians fought and describe the nature of warfare during the Gallipoli campaign. Students and teachers are provided with links to a rich collection of diaries, letters, maps, photographs, artworks, posters and newspapers on the Great War. Students ...

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Public reactions to sending troops to Vietnam War

Do you think Australian governments have always acted wisely when deciding to send young Australians to wars? Does the public usually know enough to support such decisions? On 29 April 1965, Australia's prime minister, Robert Menzies, announced the decision to send Australian troops to fight in Vietnam. In this clip, filmed ...

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British News No 4

This is a British News newsreel showing scenes of war and war-related activities in June and July 1940 during World War II, immediately after the French capitulation of late June left Britain standing alone against Germany. It contains four segments: All British Forces Evacuate France as Petain Signs; Royal Navy Faces Increased ...

Online

Australia and World War I - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work about World War I, in particular Australia's participation in the war and how it affected and continues to affect the nation's sense of identity. Intended for upper secondary students, the unit is organised around five areas of investigation: the origins of World War I; how Australians saw ...

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The Cold War 1945-1991

Cold War tensions between the USA and the USSR became so significant that a potentially disastrous nuclear war seemed imminent.

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British News No 2

This is a British News newsreel showing scenes of war and war-related activities from June 1940, in the weeks and days immediately before the fall of France during World War II. It contains 10 segments: Made in Australia; Indian Troops in Britain; The Queen Visits the Wounded; Royal Investiture; More Tanks; The Courage ...

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British News No 3

This is a British News newsreel showing scenes of war and war-related activities in June and July 1940, before and after the French surrender and armistice of 22 and 25 June, during World War II (1939-45). It contains nine segments: Man That Fortress; Canadian Destroyers in England; Irish Unity; B.E.F. Reequipped; Royalty ...

Online

Remembering the Anzacs

The landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps on Turkey's Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915 has been seen as a turning point in Australian history. Investigate the reasons for the Gallipoli campaign, the context and nature of the campaign, the sacrifices of young Australians at Gallipoli and on the Western ...

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British News No 1

This is a British News newsreel showing scenes of war and war-related activities from June 1940, in the days after the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in World War II (1939-45). It contains five segments: King sees Sunday Arms Speed-up; River Plate Heroes in South Africa; Comforts for Our Men ...

Online

Australia and the First World War - a unit of work

This unit of work for middle and upper secondary students explores the influence of the First World War on the construction of Australian identity. An introductory exploration of the Australian digger myth and legend is followed by five activities framed as investigations. Links are provided to a variety of online resources, ...

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Cartoon of an Australian wife kissing a US soldier, 1943

This cartoon shows a US soldier romancing the wife of an Australian soldier. A shocked Australian Army private in uniform is depicted peering from behind a curtain at his attractive wife in the arms of a suave-looking US staff sergeant, who is also in uniform. The private holds a photograph album and the uniform hats of ...