- 27 July 1942
- 31 December 1945
- Services organisation
On 27 July 1942, the Australian Women's Land Army (AWLA) was established as a national organisation, reporting to the Director-General of Manpower. The aim of the AWLA was to replace the male farm workers who had either enlisted in the armed services or were working in other essential war work such as munitions. The AWLA was not an enlisted service, but rather a voluntary group whose members were paid by the farmer, rather than the government or military forces. Membership of the AWLA was open to women who were British subjects and between the ages of 18 and 50 years. Housed in hostels in farming areas, members were given formal farming instruction and were initially supplied with uniform, bedding etc. Members were not engaged in domestic work rather they undertook most types of work involved with primary industries. The organisation was to be formally constituted under the National Security Regulations, but a final draft of the National Security (Australian Women's Land Army) Regulations was not completed until 1945, and did not reach the stage of promulgation due to cessation of hostilities and the decision to demobilize the Land Army.  A 'Land Army' was established in each state and administered that state's rural needs, though some members were sent interstate when available. In September 1945 it was decided that complete demobilization of the Australian Women's Land Army would take effect not later than 31 December 1945.
Sources used to compile this entry: Hardisty, Sue (ed.) (ed.), Thanks girls and goodbye : the story of the Australian Women's Land Army 1942-45, Viking O'Neil, Ringwood, Vic, 1990, 231 pp;  Agency notes for CA 4304 National Archives of Australia..