The British & Irish Lions front row of Gethin Jenkins, hooker Matthew Rees and Adam Jones reunites while Alun Wyn Jones is partnered with Bradley Davies in the second row.
Veteran flanker Martyn Williams has been named on the replacements bench and could win his 100th international cap.
“We are still hurting as a squad from the way the Wallabies beat us last year,” said Gatland. “They were impressive as a forward pack and they repeatedly won turnover ball which gave them the game.
“It’s tough times out there for everyone at the moment and those fans who have put their hands in their pockets to support Wales have made a real commitment to the cause already.
“We spoke this week about the responsibility we have to those fans now to perform.”
Wales team to face Australia: James Hook; Will Harries, Tom Shanklin, Andrew Bishop, Shane Williams, Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees (c), Adam Jones, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton, Jonathan Thomas.
Replacements: Huw Bennett, Paul James, Deiniol Jones, Martyn Williams, Richie Rees, Dan Biggar, Chris Czekaj