unexplored area in Australian research. Literature on the topic of military base-host community relations in specific is practically nonexistent, in Australia and elsewhere. Those case-studies which have been made (Barth, 1952; Hunter, 1952; Palmer, 1977) reveal that the military community represents a kind of foreign settlement in a civilian locality, that relations more often than not are uneasy and even exploitative in such matters as housing, and that the military style of life in general thwarts civil-military social integration.
The communal nature of the military organisation in its own right has been noted by Kilmartin (1974; 444):
“Military organisation may be thought of as communities in two senses: spatial and psychological. The latter means simply the affective bonds between members which occur as a result of common experiences, common goals and, in some cases, public antipathy or indifference ... The second sense in which military organisations are communal is in the form of more visible, spatial communities such as those residential communities on or near service bases and in barracks and training camps... These physical arrangements symbolize the relative impermeability of the (civil-military) boundaries — from either side.”
How the wives and families of servicemen experience service lifestyle, military communalism and isolation from civilian host comunities is the concern of this paper.