The Drill Hall

Architect: After Federation, the various colonial Armed Forces became the responsibility of the Commonwealth and were organized along commonwealth lines. Local militias and companies were formalized around the country and drill halls built as a place for them to train.

City of Maribyrnong | M05

Building Description

Footscray Drill Hall was built in 1914 to facilitate compulsory military training for men and boys, 12 to 26 years old. Dozens of Footscray locals volunteered at the Drill Hall and these men became E company, one of the first companies sent into battle in WW1. Soon they would find themselves in one of Australia’s bloodiest battles, Gallipoli. Most of the company of 250 did not return and Footscray became a city in mourning.

The Drill Hall has been home to Women’s Circus since 2006. In 2019, Women’s Circus is creating a large-scale circus show with over 50 women from their dedicated membership to premier as part of Due West Festival in November. THE DRILL will be an immersive and site-specific performance that unearths, exposes and re-imagines the role of women at this unique historical site from 1914 to today.

What's On

Join Women’s Circus for a guided tour and learn about the history of the site from the dedicated research team. Get a behind-the-scenes peek at a rehearsal for this years show THE DRILL (premiering November 21st) and chat with the Creative Director about the process of devising a Women’s Circus show. You are also invited to share your stories about this unique site.


395 Barkly Street, Footscray 3011, Footscray VIC

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