Military History

Understanding our Past | The Victoria Barracks Sydney Corps of Guides

By Kurt Stahmer October 24, 2019

The Victoria Barracks Sydney Corps of Guides, formed in 1983, is a unique group of former Australia Defence Force personnel. Its members' operational service ranges from World War Two, Korea, Malaya, and Vietnam through to Peace Keeping and Afghanistan. The Guides' membership includes former servicemen and women of all ranks, all of whom have a deep respect for the Australian Defence Force and are proud to share the fascinating history of Victoria Barracks with visitors to the Barracks. 

Victoria Barracks Sydney: The Home of the Australian Army

Victoria Barracks construction began in 1841 and was completed in 1848, being first occupied by the 11th North Devonshire Regiment. The Barracks today is still a fully functioning Military Barracks and home to Headquarters Forces Command. There are numerous significant buildings and sites within the Victoria Barracks precinct.

The Officers’ Quarters was the first major building to be completed.

The main Barracks Block is the longest stone building in the Southern Hemisphere at 742 feet.

Busby’s Bore, Sydney’s second water source, is contained within the barracks.

The Army Museum of New South Wales is housed in the original 25 cell District Military Prison. The museum has a unique collection of colonial and military items and is also seeking new volunteers.

The museum's opening hours are Thursdays 1000h-1400h and the first Sunday of the month between 1000h-1500 and can be contacted on (02) 8335 5330.

Becoming a Guide

If you have ever worn a uniform, and think you would enjoy sharing Australia’s colonial and military history with the general public and serving ADF members, then why not consider joining the Corps of Guides at Victoria Barracks, Sydney?

The Guides conduct tours of Victoria Barracks every Thursday between 1000h-1200h.  If you think you would enjoy being a Guide, email your interest to Kurt Stahmer at kurt.stahmer [at] or even better, come in any Thursday between 1000h and 1200h and have a chat.

The Guides would also welcome current serving Army Reserve members who have a spare Thursday.

Being a Corps of Guides member is a great way to transition from Army and give visitors to Victoria Barracks the benefit of your many years of service.



Kurt Stahmer

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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