Shining a light on women of war

Louise Pratt, Senator for Western Australia is today encouraging former Australian Women’s Land Army members or their next of kin, to apply to receive a commemorative brooch, the historical publication ‘Serving on the Home Front’and a certificate signed by the Governor-General in recognition of their outstanding efforts during World War Two.

Senator Pratt said the striking commemorative brooch was an important way to recognise the remarkable contribution made by members of the AWLA to the Australian war effort during the Second World War.

“More than 6,000 women served in the Australian Women’s Land Army and contributed to the war effort by working to feed and clothe the nation,” Senator Pratt said.

“The Australian Government wants to ensure that the efforts of these women are being formally recognised and that their service to our country will never be forgotten.

“These women who gave so much to our country deserve to be recognised. I encourage all local members of the ALWA and the next of kin of deceased former ALWA members to apply.”

The Australian Women’s Land Army was formed on 27 July 1942 to fill labour shortages in rural areas during the Second World War.

Women undertook a variety of agricultural tasks such as vegetable and fruit growing, pig and poultry raising, and sheep and wool work.

In the years following the war, members of the Land Army campaigned long and hard for specific recognition of their efforts. Their campaign was recognised in the 1980s with the opportunity to march on Anzac Day, in 1991 with the opportunity to join the RSL, and in 1994 with eligibility for the Civilian Service Medal 1939-1945.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Senator Jan McLucas who celebrated the 70th anniversary of the formation of the AWLA this year said, “To date, over 300 applications for recognition have been received.

“We want to make sure that every woman who answered the call, who put on a uniform and got to work in supporting their country, is commended for the unique role they played in the broader history of women in Australia.”

Application forms and further information are available by contacting Senator Pratt’s office or by visiting www.itsanhonour.gov.au/.

Media contact: Sandi Gatt (McLucas) 0400 130 568 or Pratt Office 0417 175 220