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Corporate entry Department of Defence (1942 - )

Commonwealth of Australia

14 April 1942
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Defence Administration, Defence Industries, Defence Intelligence and Defence Research
Reference No
CA 46
Legal Status
Agency of the Commonwealth of Australia
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory


The Department of Defence was established in 1942, having previously been known as the Department of Defence Co-ordination.


 1920 - 1976 Air Board
       1942 - Department of Defence

Related Corporate Bodies

Related People

Published resources


  • Bassett, Jan, Guns and Brooches: Austalian Army Nursing from the Boer War to the Gulf War (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1992), 271 pp. Details
  • Cain, Frank, Arming the Nation: a History of Defence Science and Technology in Australia (Canberra: Australian Defence Studies Centre, 1999), 152 (160) pp. Details
  • Cornish, A.; Stout, R.; Swan, K.; Glendinning, C., Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929-1946: History of Major Meteorological Installations in Australia From 1945-1981: Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service: the Bureau of Meteorology in Papua and New Guinea in the 1950s, Metarch Papers No. 8 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1996). Details
  • Gibbs, W. J., A Glimpse of the RAAF Meteorological Service, Metarch Papers No. 7 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1995). Details
  • Gurner, Colin M., The Royal Australian Army Medical Corps: 1945-1975 (Prahran East: 2003), 137 pp. Details
  • Haldane, T., War History of the Australian Meteorological Service in the Royal Australian Air Force April 1941 to July 1946, Metarch Papers No. 10 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1997). Details
  • Hannay, K., Some Recollections of Service in the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology and RAAF Meteorological Service: Mascot and Rose Bay (1938 to 1940): Sojourn in the Far East (1942), Metarch Papers No. 6 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1994). Details
  • Jeppesen, J.C., Constant Care: the Royal Australian Navy Health Services, 1915-2002 (Loftus: Australian Military History, 2002), 336 pp. Details
  • Joyce, John, The Story of the RAAF Meteorological Service (Melbourne: Bureau of Meteorology, 1993), 119 pp. Details
  • Madden, B. J., Hernia Bay: Sydney's Wartime Hospitals at Riverswood (Campsie (N.S.W.): Canterbury and District Historical Society, 2001), 208 pp. Details
  • Mann, J. Y., Aeronautical Research Laboratory 1939-1989: 50 Years of Research and Development for Australia's Defence (Melbourne: Aeronautical Research Laboratory, 1989), 116 pp. Details
  • Ollif, Lorna, Colonel Best and her soldiers: the story of the 33 years of the Women's Royal Australian Army Corps (Hornsby, New South Wales: Ollif Publishing Company, 1985), 250 pp. Details
  • Parnell, Neville M., Whispering Death: a history of the RAAF's Beaufighter squadrons (Sydney: Reed, 1980). Details
  • Ross, A.T., Armed and Ready: the Industrial Development and Defence of Australia, 1900-1945 (Sydney: Turton & Armstrong, 1995), 452 pp. Details
  • Smith, Dennis K., To Explore and Exploit the Unknown: a History of Defence Science at DSTO Maribyrnong 1922-2004 (Fishermans Bend: Defence Science and Technology Organisation, 2005), 210 pp. Details
  • Sweeney, Tony, Malaria frontline: Australian Army research during World War II (Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press, 2003), 354 pp. Details
  • Tyquin, Michael, Little by Little: a Centenary History of the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (Sydney: Australian Military History Publications, 2003), 684 pp. Details
  • Tyquin, Michael B., Gallipoli: the Medical War: the Australian Army Medical Service in the Dardanelles Campaign of 1915 (Sydney: New South Wales University Press, 1993), 304 pp. Details
  • Wisdom, J. C., Forty Years of Army Design (Maribyrnong, Victoria: Engineering Development Establishment, 1979), 91 pp. Details
  • Wisdom, John, A History of Defence Science in Australia (Melbourne: Defence Science and Technology Organisation, 1995), 267 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Farrands, J. L. and Wisdom, J. C., 'Defence Science and Technology' in Technology in Australia 1788-1988: A Condensed History of Australian Technological Innovation and Adaptation During the First Two Hundred Years, R. T. Madigan, ed. (Melbourne: Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, 1988). Details

Conference Papers

  • Morton, Peter, 'Engaging with Leviathan: a Historian's Perspective on Using the Scientific Archives of the Department of Defence', in Recovering Science: Strategies and Models for the Past, Present and Future: Proceedings of a Conference Held at the University of Melbourne, October 1992 edited by Tim Sherratt, Lisa Jooste and Rosanne Clayton (Canberra: Australian Science Archives Project, 1995), pp. 51-56.. Details
  • Noble, R., 'Sixty years of engineering in the RAAF', in The Royal Aeronautical Society, Australian Division, Melbourne Branch, Sir Lawrence Wackett Lecture (1980).. Details

Edited Books

  • Goodman, Rupert ed., Our War Nurses: the History of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps, 1902-1988 (Brisbane: Boolarong Publications, 1988), 294 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Combe, Eric, 'Army Aviation History', Army Magazine, 2 (1989), 38-39. Details
  • Dowsett, Michael, 'The Contribution of the Royal Australian Navy to the Development of Underwater Medicine in Australia', Health and History, 6 (2) (2004), 92-96. Details
  • Finucane, Julie, 'Civilian Legacies of Military Nursing', Health and History, 6 (2) (2004), 97-110. Details
  • Richards, R. J., 'Fit to Fight: from Butter to Bullets: Defence Food Science in Australia', Food Australia, 43 (9) (1991), 415-417. Details
  • Rourke, William J., 'Warships for the Royal Australian Navy 1945-85', Journal of the Australian Naval Institute, 11 (4) (1985), 13-22. Details
  • Sinnott, D. H., 'Defence Radar Development in Australia: 1939 to the Present', IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, 20 (11) (2005), 27-31. Details
  • Taylor, Jessica, 'War and the Professional: the Australian Army Veterinary Corps', Journal of the Australian War Memorial, 24 (April) (1994), 26-33. Details


Resource Sections


See also

  • Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Technology in Australia 1788-1988, Online edn, Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, Melbourne, 3 May 2000, Details
  • Harris, K, '"Giving the Dope": Australian Army Nurse Anaesthetists during World War I', Australian Military Medicine, 12 (3) (2003), 138-143. Details
  • Kenny, Catherine, Captives: Australian Army Nurses in Japanese Prison Camps (Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 1986). Details
  • Martin, Ian, '"When Needs Must" - the Acceptance of Volunteer Aids in British and Australian Military Hospitals in World War I', Health and History, 4 (1) (2002), 88-98. Details
  • Nelson, Siobhan and Rabach, Jennifer, 'Military Experience - the New Age of Australian Nursing & other Failures', Health and History, 4 (1) (2002), 79-87. Details
  • Pearn, John, 'Civilian Legacies of Army Health', Health and History, 6 (2) (2004), 4-17. Details
  • Reid, Brian, 'Malaria in the Nineteenth Century Military Settlements of the NorthernTerritory', in Australian Society of the History of Medicine, The Impact of the Past on the Present: Second National Conference of the Australian Society of the History of Medicine edited by Peter Winterton and Des Gurry (Perth: Australian Society of the History of Medicine, 1991), pp. 166-169.. Details
  • Smithurst, B. A., 'Rupert Downes Memorial Lecture: Distinguished Australian Military Surgeons', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, 59 (9) (1989), 731-741. Details
  • Tyquin, Michael, Madness and the Military: the Australian Experience of the Great War (Loftus: Australian Military History Publications, 2006), 180 pp. Details
  • Williamson, John, 'Civilian Legacies of Air Force Medicine', Health and History, 6 (2) (2004), 33-44. Details

Ailie Smith