Anzac Day, 25 April, is an important day for all Australians. It’s when we remember the sacrifice and contribution made defending Australia throughout history, and today.
Indigenous men and women have served alongside other Australians in all wars since before Federation. Despite the injustices Indigenous people were experiencing in Australia, they served side-by-side with non-Indigenous soldiers, forming friendships and relying on each other for survival. Indigenous men and women continue to serve proudly in Australia’s defence force today.
Here are some resources and stories to help you learn more about the contributions Indigenous men and women have made to Australia’s armed forces.
Over 800* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Soldiers are known to have served in World War I.
〉Australian War Memorial - List of Aboriginal soldiers on Gallipoli
〉A brief history of Indigenous Australians at war - Read more
〉Anzacs: Remembering our Heroes - SBS series 10 episodes (15 mins each)
〉Indigenous soldiers thought 'when we got back we'd be treated differently - Read more
〉'They were back to being black': The land withheld from returning Indigenous soldiers - Read more
〉Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have served in the Australian Defence Forces since the 1860s - Read more
〉Connecting Spirits - Ngarrindjeri Soldiers
Over 3,000* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women are known to have enlisted in World War II.
〉Military service - a tradition in Stan Grant's family. The story of Ivan Grant
〉Boy named Anzac follows South Australian family's tradition
〉The story of John Flick who travelled to France to pay his respect to fallen Indigenous soldiers
〉Meet four Indigenous people in Australia's defence force
〉Meet the first Indigenous Major in the Australian Army Cadet's Northern Territory Battalion - Read more
〉Anzac Day through the eyes of an Indigenous woman in the defence force - Read more
〉A personal reflection on Anzac Day - Indigenous Services Librarian Melissa Jackson