In 1832 James Backhouse and George Washington Walker visited Australia and worked among Friends in many areas. As a result small meetings were formed in several states. In 1902 the growing sense of unity led to the holding of the first General Meeting of Australian Friends, recognised as a Quarterly Meeting of London Yearly Meeting. After many years of discussion and seeking, the first Yearly Meeting was held in 1964, and in 1970 the first full-time Secretary, responsible for the administration of the Society, was appointed.

Australia Yearly Meeting includes seven regional meetings (one in each state) which encompass local and recognised meetings in all states and territories. Since 2020 our AYM has been held led virtually, using Zoom, in July.

This We Can Say, Australian Quaker life, faith and thought, was published in 2003. The Handbook of Practice and Procedure is under continuing revision and an Australian version of Advices and Queries includes Australian queries interleaved within the full Britain Yearly Meeting Advices and Queries. Other Australian publications are listed on the Australia Yearly Meeting website,

Australian Friends are actively concerned with peace, aboriginal issues, the environment, violence in prisons and the community, conflict resolution and mediation, gender, HIV/AIDS, and education issues. Much of this work is carried out with other groups, but the Society also works independently through a system of committees, each usually based within one regional meeting and corresponding with other Friends throughout Australia.

Communication between members spread over a country as large as Australia has always been a problem. Modern technology is helping, with committees meeting via email, online meetings and teleconferences. Several print publications aim to provide links for Australian Friends, including the quarterly online journal, The Australian Friend, and the monthly AYM Secretary’s Newsletter.

Many Australian Quaker publications can be purchased through Interactive Publications.

The Friends School, founded in Hobart in 1887, is a co-educational school with close links to the Society. The School caters for students from kindergarten to matriculation. Australia Yearly Meeting is committed to strengthening links among Friends in the Asia-West Pacific Section of Friends World Committee for Consultation.

Australia Yearly Meeting is a member of the National Council of Churches in Australia.