Australia First Movement

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The AFM was a fascist Nazi sympathising intellectual organisation active during WW2. It was founded in 1936 by several intellectual and literacy figures who had been involved previously with the radical left, communist and rationalist movements. Its three most prominent figures were Percy Stephensen, Xavier Herbert and Adela Parkhurst Walsh who all had extensive history in intellectual political writing and movements.

The AFM originally advocated neutrality and national independence, criticising Australia’s devotion to the British crown and foreign policy. It appeared at first to be a kind of civic or left wing nationalism in opposition to British imperialism, using the treatment of Australian troops in WW1 to illustrate this point. They eventually grew to become supportive of Fascism and Nazism, developing anti Semitic beliefs and wishing to form political/ military alliances with Japan and Germany to the point of welcoming an Axis occupation.

It open heartedly welcomed Japanese invasion and occupation as well as embracing a Nazi styled persecution of Australian leftists. The small group comprised of intellectuals and influential right wing businessmen lasted until 1942, when its leadership was interned during the war and the group shut down.

Prominent Figures

Percy Stephensen

Alexander Rud Mills

Xavier Herbert

Adela Parkhurst Walsh

Eleanor Dark

Miles Franklin

William John Miles


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