South Australians at War
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Experiences of War : Women and War

The wars in which Australia has been involved have had profound effects on the lives of women. In earlier conflicts women supported the men who went away to fight through fundraisers, providing comfort packages and through such organisations as the Cheer-Up Society. The Australian Army Nursing Service Reserve was formed in 1902 and women served at home and overseas with this service.

B17540_87_Cheer-Up Hut GirlsDuring World War Two some joined the officially organised women's services. Others entered the workforce, to replace men recruited into the armed forces, often doing jobs traditionally viewed as 'men's' work. On the homefront there were many disturbances to everyday life. Families were disrupted as members went away to war and communications were limited by transport problems and restrictions imposed by censorship. Clothes and food rationing were introduced and there were frequent calls for fundraising and investment in war loans.

Women have served with the regular forces since the late 1970s (Army) and early 1980s (RAAF and RAN).

View images of Women at War in our Flickr album.