The Defence Medal was instituted to provide recognition for specified periods of service in non-operational areas subjected to air attack or closely threatened. The Defence Medal is awarded for six months service in a prescribed non-operational area subject to enemy air attack or closely threatened, in Australia and overseas, or for 12 months service in non-prescribed non-operational areas. Within Australia the area is the Northern Territory, north of 14 degrees 30 minutes south, and the Torres Strait Islands between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Overseas service includes the Middle East, east of the Suez Canal (less the period of the Syrian Campaign) or Malaya prior to the Japanese invasion on 8 December 1941.
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