When Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War was announced in 1965, there was little opposition to the idea of conscription or The National Service Scheme Policy. It wasn’t until The Australian government announced an increase in Australian involvement in the war zone that opposition to conscription increased.

Australian youth was under pressure from the older generation. Young Australians were being encouraged to be more eager to fight for their country and told that they would be a coward and unpatriotic if they were against the idea. However with the introduction of the TV War came the horrific truth of war.

The Australian public had witnessed the horrors of war through the media of the time. The thought of having a loved one forcibly sent away to war scared the nation but The National Service Scheme was not to go through unopposed and without protest. As time went on and more Australian troops were sent to their death protest groups started to form to join others such as; The Labor Government of the time, religious groups, trade Unionists and academics.

The Youth Campaign Against Conscription (YCAC) formed in 1964 and was closely affiliated with the Australian Labor Party were amongst the protestors.

The Save Our Sons protest Group (SOS) was also among the protestors was formed in Sydney 1965 in response to the government’s announcement to an increase in troops being sent to Vietnam. SOS consisted of primarily middle class women who had sons in danger of being affected by conscription.

The number of people in opposition to Conscription and involvement in the war had grown rapidly. In 1969 an Australian Wide mass protest was coordinated and took place. This was known as the Australian Moratorium March. Anti-war groups and anti-conscription groups such as the SOS, YCAC and Trade Union all took part in the Moratorium.
Some question the effectiveness of these groups, but it is still unsure if the withdrawal of Australian troops from Vietnam was a result of these or simply because America had began withdrawing its troops.