In 1951, during the Korean War, National Service was introduced under the National Service Act, 1951. All Australian males aged 18 had to register for 176 (later 140) days of training and five years of service in the Citizens Military Force, also known as the Militia. The regular military forces were kept as voluntary. The system was ended in 1959.
Australia’s first law for compulsory military training was passed in 1911 and abolished in 1929 (with two conscription referenda during World War I being defeated). Conscription was revived briefly in 1939, but without requiring active overseas service (although ‘Australia’ was defined to include New Guinea). National service was reintroduced 1964 and again in May 1965. From that date until 1972, over 15,000 national servicemen fought in the Vietnam War, of whom 200 were killed and over 1,200 wounded. National Service was abolished on 5 December 1972 by the Labor government.
The Department of Veteran Affairs also have established Gardens of Remembrance in each state and territory capital city, as well as in Launceston and Townsville. Most are located near a major war cemetery.
When they are either unable to or not asked to provide an official commemoration in a cemetery or crematorium, they can provide a Garden of Remembrance plaque. This is a bronze plaque placed on a wall in a garden setting. These plaques do not contain a personal message or any religious emblems.
The Department of Veteran Affairs official website states that they will provide an official commemoration for all veterans whose death has been accepted by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) as related to their war service. They also provide an official commemoration for veterans who were:
ADF members who died during war, peacekeeping activities, or certain other operations, including warlike and non-warlike service.
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