Kathryn Slattery scored twice as Australia's women beat Great Britain 4-3 in the first of a six-match series in Bunbury, Western Australia.
Hannah Macleod and Ellie Watton helped GB overturn a deficit but Australia were 4-2 up with 20 minutes to play.
Sophie Bray stretched to pull a goal back but GB failed to convert further chances as the home side held on.
The second match is on Sunday, again at Bunbury, before the series moves to Perth for the remaining four games.
The teams are in the same pool for the Rio Olympics this year and will meet again before that at the Champions Trophy in London in June.