Ausreenact is a non-political World War 2 Living History organisation based in NSW, Australia. It is comprised of individuals who share a common interest in history and militaria, with particular focus on the uniforms, equipment and vehicles of the Allied and Axis forces, 1939-1945.
The organisation primarily engages in two types of event:
1. Living History, or the "Barracks Impression". This emphasises the garrison life of the average serviceman or servicewoman, where various types of gear are displayed in a static manner in a World War 2 period setting. These impressions are mainly used for educational purposes at public displays.
2. Tactical events. These are usually held on large tracts of private land and involve simulated combat operations. Participating units often bring period vehicles and weapons which have either been restored or acquired as reproductions. These events are often held in cooperation with other WW2 re-enacting groups from across the country.
What is Reeanacting?
Historical reenacting, regardless of the period – medieval, Naponeonic, colonial, US Civil War, WW1 or WW2 – comprises two primary components.
Living history is the public display or barracks-room aspect, where the day-to-day life of the military man or woman is put on show for educational and entertainment purposes. Reenactors may be seen performing typical non-combat activities within their encampment or have static displays set up for discussion purposes, to inform members of the public at particular events.
Secondly, there is the tactical component. This could be a private training event for group members only, or it could be a public performance. In both these instances, there will usually be a scenario or scenarios which involve two opposing forces in a large outdoor area, and typically there will be action and noise. Umpires may be present or individual reenactors may make personal decisions about their casualty status in battle.
As you become a member of Ausreenact, and as you then begin to prepare for your first formal activity, the following will be important considerations:
1. You will become a member of a group which has a command, rank and award structure, and you will begin at the bottom rung.
2. All members of the group as a whole, and especially of your sub-unit ie German, Soviet, US, will provide every possible assistance and advice to you on the purchase, suitability, standard and authenticity of your kit. They will suggest vendors to you. They will also assist you where possible with loans of uniform and equipment for specific events.
3. Please note: the handling of firearms without an appropriate licence is illegal, but members will be able to assist you with advice on how to obtain the necessary licence, and with the purchase of a firearm appropriate to your impression.
4. A firearms licence is not a necessary prerequisite for membership, but it should be something a new member works towards, to complete his or her impression.
5. You will have access to the group’s webring, and it is here that you should introduce yourself, and where you will be welcomed by other members. The webring is THE method of publicity and information for all upcoming events, and it is critical that you maintain a good working knowledge of what is going on by regularly monitoring your mail.
6. Attendance at events can never be compulsory; everyone has a (real) life to lead, with all the work and family commitments that that entails, BUT minimum levels of attendance and commitment to group activities throughout the year are expected. You will not be investing considerable sums of money in uniform and equipment merely to walk around with it in the comfort of your own living-room. You will want to show it off to fellow members and the public wherever and whenever possible.
7. You should begin to create for yourself a persona: take on a name by which you can be known, as an alias, within the group. This will be important for all public and private activities.
8. You will not need to have a complete impression already up and running before you join. In theory, you may have nothing at all to start with, and while members may be able to assist in the sort-term, you will need to begin outfitting yourself as soon as possible.
9. Awards, medals and rank insignia should never be worn unless conferred upon you by the group, in accordance with our rules and regulations for significant attendance, contributions and service.
10. Travel must be a consideration for you. While most of our members come from the Sydney Metropolitan Area, others come from much further afield. Events too can be held throughout Sydney, and as far afield as Armidale and southern NSW. You can also be given the opportunity to participate in interstate events.
Our members come from all walks of life. They are from school age to retirees; they are men and women, but they all have an interest in military re-enacting, authenticity and educating the public. They take their hobby seriously but they also want to enjoy themselves, and that is the thing to always remember.