Tom Millar


Throughout the period between the first British settlement in Australia (1788) and the federation of the six evolving colonies into a single federal Commonwealth (1901), military forces on land were provided first by the British government (to 1870) and later by part-time or professional volunteers locally recruited. The federal constitution made defence the sole prerogative of the central government, and among that government's earliest pieces of legislation were Defence Acts (1903 and 1904). The existing colonial naval and military forces were integrated under single commands, and all Australian males between the ages of 18 and 60 (except conscientious objectors on religious grounds) were in time of war, made liable for service in the citizen military forces, within Australia or its territories.



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