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Our Top Books That Celebrate Indigenous Australians This ANZAC Day

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An illustrated history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander military service.

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that deceased people are represented throughout this publication.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a long-standing tradition of fighting for Country, and they continue to serve with great honour in the Australian Defence Force. For Country, for Nation: an illustrated history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander military service tells the story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' service in the defence of Australia, dating back to before Federation. It includes service in all conflicts and operations in which the nation's military forces have been involved.

Richly illustrated with over 230 images, For Country, for Nation uses artworks, photographs and objects from the Memorial's collection, combined with the voices of Indigenous men and women, to reveal their experiences of war. In doing so, For Country, for Nation considers why so many volunteered to serve when faced with entrenched discrimination in wider society.


While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been largely ignored or marginalised in national histories of war and service, they have remembered their involvement in Defence service and the service of their relatives.

Our Mob Served presents a moving and little-known history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander war time and defence service, told through the vivid oral histories and treasured family images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This unique book shares lively and compelling stories of war, defence service and the impact on individuals, families and communities, sometimes for the first time.



Alfred’s War is a powerful story that unmasks the lack of recognition given to Australian Indigenous servicemen who returned from the WWI battlelines.



After decades of silence, Serving Our Country is the first comprehensive history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s participation in the Australian defence forces.

While Indigenous Australians have enlisted in the defence forces since the Boer War, for much of this time they defied racist restrictions and were denied full citizenship rights on their return to civilian life. In Serving Our Country Mick Dodson, John Maynard, Joan Beaumont, Noah Riseman, Alison Cadzow, and others, reveal the courage, resilience, and trauma of Indigenous defence personnel and their families, and document the long struggle to gain recognition for their role in the defence of Australia.


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