Members Only Area
1/ AAAA Inc Minutes
2/ Australian Defence Medal & Army Combat
3/ Current Members
Welcome to the website for the Australian Army
Apprentices Association Inc (AAAA Inc). Please feel free to browse around
and pass any suggestions, comments or submissions to the
webmaster through our contact page.
The Australian Army Apprentice scheme was successful in a
number of areas but was phased-out by the Army in the mid-1990s.
The scheme had its roots at Balcombe Barracks on the Mornington
Peninsula in Victoria, in about 1948, but eventually moved to
Latchford Barracks, Bonegilla, in northern Victoria. The
apprentice scheme gave birth to a number of unofficial customs,
such as Crab Night, and had a language of its own – odd, or even
intakes and sproggs (a first-year Apprentice) to name but a few.
The apprentice scheme has also seen many of its former members
rise to prominence across all ranks and corps of the Australian
For many serving within the ranks of the Army, the term Army
Apprentice, or ex Appy, is something they are not likely to
The Army, for many years, enlisted and trained its own tradesmen
direct from the high schools and the youth of Australia.
Many teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 years enlisted
as Army Apprentices to undertake a four-year
apprenticeship in a wide variety of technical and clerical trades, and as musicians. The initial
engagement period was for 9 years.
What the Badge means:-
Cross which forms the spokes of the wheel (the basis of the
badge) represents, the Christian virtues and the development of
character. The Torch of Learning, which is superimposed upon the
Cross, represents that desire to go on learning, which should be
the aim of every School to implant in the hearts and minds of
all its sons. The Crossed Swords remind us, as soldiers, of the
military qualities of Courage and Discipline and the importance
of a high standard of Physical Fitness. The Wheel, of course,
represents the trade and technical training carried out at the
School, whilst the Crown expresses Loyalty to Queen and Country
(and therefore to superiors and comrades alike) and Devotion to
A little history lesson:-
This is a Trades Medal awarded in 1958 with the Kings Crown to
Mal Cock 12th Intake. Check it out in a larger size in the
Photos section under the 12 Intake.
Thanks to Mal.