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Conscription and the Vietnam War, 1965-1972

Conscription and the Vietnam War, 1965-1972

Australia’s National Service Scheme began in 1964 and one year later became the means of conscripting young men into the Vietnam War. Under the scheme, 20-year-old men were required to register with the Department of Labour and National Service and were then subject to a ballot based on date of birth. Men selected through the ballot faced the possibility of two years continuous full-time service in the regular army, followed by three years part-time service in the Army Reserve. They were also liable for ‘special overseas service’, including combat duties in Vietnam.

Under the National Service Scheme, 15,381 conscripted Australian soldiers served in Vietnam, and men who failed to follow their conscription orders went to prison. The first conscripts arrived in Vietnam in May 1966, and public opinion of the conflict to become increasingly critical. Learning from the protest movement in the United States, Australian anti-war groups began to build momentum and organise. In 1970 and 1971, they held massive nationwide protests, known as the moratorium marches. Over 200,000 Australians participated in a moratorium march in May 1970, with an estimated 100,000 protestors marching in Melbourne.

In December 1972, the newly-elected Whitlam government abolished conscription and released imprisoned conscientious objectors. At this time, only 179 Australian troops remained in Vietnam and Whitlam ordered them home.
Vietnam War conscripts or enlisted
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Vietnam War conscripts or enlisted
Anti-conscription demonstration at the Melbourne
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Anti-conscription demonstration at the Melbourne
Vietnam War Protests. Police officers arrest a protester demonstrating against conscription in Sydney during the Vietnam War, 11 April 1969.
SMH Picture by G
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Vietnam War Protests. Police officers arrest a protester...
Vietnam War Protests. Police officers arrest a protester demonstrating against conscription in Sydney during the Vietnam War, 11 April 1969.
SMH Picture by G
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Vietnam War Protests. Police officers arrest a protester...
Vietnam War Protests. Police officers arrest a protester demonstrating against conscription in Sydney during the Vietnam War, 11 April 1969.
SMH Picture by G
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Vietnam War Protests. Police officers arrest a protester...
Vietnam War
Protests. A protester appears less than impressed after being arrested by
police officers during a demonstration against conscription in Sydney during
the Vietnam War, 11 April 1969
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Vietnam War
Protests. A protester appears less than...
Vietnam War Protests. Police officers arrest a protester, putting him in a paddy wagon, during a demonstration against conscription in Sydney during the Vietnam War, 11 April 1969.
SMH Picture by G
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Vietnam War Protests. Police officers arrest a protester,...
Police arrest a protestor during a demonstration in Sydney against conscription in 1969.

Vietnam War Protests
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Police arrest a protestor during a demonstration in...
64 year old Gwladys Bird
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64 year old Gwladys Bird
Vietnam War Protests. A protester appears less than impressed after being arrested by police officers during a demonstration against conscription in Sydney during the Vietnam War, 11 April 1969
FXB38016
Vietnam War Protests. A protester appears less than...
Vietnam War Protests. Jean Curthoys,
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Vietnam War Protests. Jean Curthoys,
Vietnam War Protests. Andy Blunden,
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Vietnam War Protests. Andy Blunden,
Vietnam War Protests. Andy Blunden,
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Vietnam War Protests. Andy Blunden,
An anti conscription demonstration at
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An anti conscription demonstration at
An anti conscription demonstration at
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An anti conscription demonstration at
An anti conscription demonstration at
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An anti conscription demonstration at
An anti conscription demonstration at
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An anti conscription demonstration at
Vietnam War Protests. Protesters attend
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Vietnam War Protests. Protesters attend
Major-General Sir Robert Risson, checks the balls before the first public draw in 1970 ...

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Age general .  dated 30 september 1970 .  Age Hard copy.
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Major-General Sir Robert Risson, checks the balls before...
Students of Sydney University gather
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Students of Sydney University gather
Students of Sydney University gather
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Students of Sydney University gather
Students of Sydney University gather
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Students of Sydney University gather
Draft dodger, David Martin of
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Draft dodger, David Martin of
Draft dodger, David Martin of
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Draft dodger, David Martin of
Draft dodger, Mike Matteson of
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Draft dodger, Mike Matteson of
Draft dodger, Mike Matteson of
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Draft dodger, Mike Matteson of
Draft dodger, Mike Matteson of
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Draft dodger, Mike Matteson of
Draft dodgers, David Martin of
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Draft dodgers, David Martin of
Draft dodgers, David Martin of
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Draft dodgers, David Martin of
University students burn draft cards
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University students burn draft cards
Demonstrators protest against the war
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Demonstrators protest against the war
Big Picture Book DVD
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Big Picture Book DVD
Vietnam War Protests. Draft resisters
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Vietnam War Protests. Draft resisters
Conscientious objector Simon Townsend is
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Conscientious objector Simon Townsend is
Seventy thousand people gathered outside the Melbourne Town Hall in a peaceful protest against Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War.
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Seventy thousand people gathered outside the Melbourne...
Vietnam War Protests. Leaders of
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Vietnam War Protests. Leaders of
Demonstrators protest against the war
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Demonstrators protest against the war
Demonstrators in Sydney protest during
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Demonstrators in Sydney protest during
A demonstrator burns a draft
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A demonstrator burns a draft
Vietnam War Protests. Vietnam moratorium
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Vietnam War Protests. Vietnam moratorium
Vietnam War Protests. Anti-Vientam War
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Vietnam War Protests. Anti-Vientam War
Vietnam War Protests. University students
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Vietnam War Protests. University students
University students protesting outside Parliament
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University students protesting outside Parliament
Vietnam War Protests. Author Patrick
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Vietnam War Protests. Author Patrick
Melbourne. Vietnam Moratorium. Scene at
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Melbourne. Vietnam Moratorium. Scene at
Demonstrators protest against the war
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Demonstrators protest against the war
Vietnam War Protests. A man
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Vietnam War Protests. A man
Demonstrators in Sydney protest during
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Demonstrators in Sydney protest during
Demonstrators protest against the war
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Demonstrators protest against the war
Demonstrators protest against the war
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Demonstrators protest against the war
Vietnam War Protests. Demonstrators attempt
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Vietnam War Protests. Demonstrators attempt
Vietnam War Protests. Protestors against
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Vietnam War Protests. Protestors against
University students protesting outside Sydney
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University students protesting outside Sydney
Prime Minister Robert Menzies heckled
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Prime Minister Robert Menzies heckled
Bill White (William White) arrested
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Bill White (William White) arrested
Bill White (William White) arrested
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Bill White (William White) arrested
Anti-war protester Nadine Jensen, a
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Anti-war protester Nadine Jensen, a
Anti-war protester Nadine Jensen, a
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Anti-war protester Nadine Jensen, a
Commanding officer Colonel A. V.
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Commanding officer Colonel A. V.
Anti-war protester Nadine Jensen, a
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Anti-war protester Nadine Jensen, a
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