Serving our Country: a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence of Australia is a research project documenting the historical contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian defence and auxiliary services from the Boer War to 2000.
Funded by an Australian Research Council-funded linkage grant (2014-2017) the project is based at The Australian National University (ANU), and is led by Professor Mick Dodson – Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS).
The project research team includes researchers from ANU, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the Australian Catholic University, and the University of Newcastle, and a project support team.
Our research team has visited communities throughout Australia for community Yarn Ups to conduct oral and video recordings with Indigenous defence personnel and/or their families, and you can access these recordings and participant biographies and much more on our Yarn Up participant pages.
We are also researching national and personal archival records, photos and other materials, and the project will culminate in the publication of:
- a compendium style book of essays on involvement in the 20th century conflicts and thematic essays.
- an image and oral history-based book.
Other project productions include:
- an archive of oral and video histories collected during the project.
- research towards an exhibition with the National Archives of Australia
Our research partners: Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Department of Defence, Australian War Memorial, National Archives of Australia, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Qantas, University of Newcastle and the Australian Catholic University.