As part of the British Empire, Australia offered troops who were mainly mounted units but they were poorly trained. Our first contingents were raised by the Australian colonies and were made up mainly of men in the militia. The second contingents were bushmen, recruited from the public ad paid for by public subscription or wealthy individuals. The third were imperial bushmen were paid by the imperial Government in London. Then there were contingents raised by state governments after Federation and finally, close to the end of the war, the Australian Commonwealth Horse contingents were raised by the new government.
The conflict was divided into three phases: October to December 1899 when the British infantry army was defeated by the mobile Boer mounted troops; December 1899 to September 1900 with a British counter-offensive capturing most of the major towns and cities of South Africa; then the longest from September 1900 to May 1902 with guerrilla warfare between the British mounted troops and Boer irregulars.