Universal military training in Australia, 1911–29 – Fact sheet 160
Between 1911 and 1929 Australian males aged between 18 and 60 were required to perform militia service within Australia and its territories. The Defence Acts of 1903 and 1904, empowered the Australian Government to call up 'unexempted’ males in time of war. The Defence Act 1909 made training and service compulsory in time of peace.
The visit of Field Marshal Kitchener
A bill providing for compulsory military training in peace time (referred to as universal training) was introduced to Parliament by Prime Minister Alfred Deakin in 1909. It was a measure with broad parliamentary support, having been adopted by the Opposition Labor Party at its 1908 conference. At the invitation of Deakin, Field Marshal Viscount Kitchener of Great Britain visited Australia in 1909 to inspect the existing state of defence preparedness of the young Commonwealth, and advise on the best means of providing Australia with a land defence. Kitchener’s report, submitted in February 1910, recommended the introduction of compulsory military training. A public version of Kitchener’s report was published as 'Defence of Australia: Memorandum’ in Commonwealth Parliamentary Papers – General (Session 1910, Volume II, pp. 83–104).