Category: Women's Royal Australian Army Corps

Categories: Australian Army

The Women's Royal Australian Army Corps (WRAAC) was formed as an all women's corps of the Australian Army in April 1951. Its Colonel-in-Chief was Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden. The purpose of the corps was to counter a manpower shortage that developed due to fighting. At the time of its formation, many senior WRAAC personnel had previously served in the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS), which had been raised during the Second World War, and as a result the WRAAC is considered to have its origins in the AWAS. The corps consisted of both regular and part-time personnel, and had commissioned officers, warrant officers, non commissioned officers and other ranks who filled a variety of roles including general duties, cooking, clerical work, instruction, warehousing, and signalling. There were also librarians, coders, projectionists, and psychologists.

Training was completed separately from male recruits at various locations including Queenscliff for soldiers and Georges Heights for officers. By the late 1970s female soldiers had begun to be integrated into the Army at large and in late 1984, the WRAAC was disbanded with personnel being transferred to other previously all male corps based on their trade specialty. At this time, female officer cadets began training at the Officer Cadet School, Portsea alongside male cadets, and when Portsea closed down at the end of 1985, they were integrated into the Royal Military College, Duntroon. Female soldiers began training alongside male recruits at the Army Recruit Training Centre at Kapooka in 1985.

There were four directors of the service before the title of director was abolished: Kathleen Best (1951-57); Dawn Jackson (1957-67); Kathleen Fowler (1967-77); and Barbara Maxwell (1977-79).

Person Profiles (2)

04 Apr 1920 Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia
bef 1935 - abt 11 Sep 2002

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