Useful links


Aboriginal history – defence forces

Serving Our Country: a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service in the defence of Australia

A research project based at ANU and led by Professor Mick Dodson, Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies.

Australian Defence Force: Indigenous – A Proud History

“Indigenous Australians have made a significant contribution to protecting Australia and its national interests for over 100 years, serving in every military conflict Australia has been involved in since the Boer War in 1899.”

Indigenous Histories

Historian Philippa Scarlett’s meticulous research focuses on Indigenous servicemen, particularly those serving in WWI.

General history – WWI

Australian War Memorial

State Records NSW: NSW Anzac Centenary –  Records of NSW and WWI

National Archives of Australia – researching war service

ABC: Australia Remembers WWI: Timeline: How WW1 unfolded

Gallipoli: The First Day – Centenary edition

Brilliant resource from the ABC – an award-winning online documentary that includes eye-witness accounts and expert commentaries (including an interview with Gary Oakley, Indigenous liaison officer at the AWM, discussing the presence of Indigenous Australian soldiers at Gallipoli). Also available as an app.

Local history – WW1

Blue Mountains Local Studies

The Co-ee March, 1915, “The biggest wash-up I ever heard of!’
This privately organised recruiting march set off from Gilgandra in October 1915 and arrived in the Blue Mountains in November, stopping in Katoomba, Wentworth Falls and Springwood. It would be interesting to connect the enlistment dates of the local Aboriginal soldiers we are researching with the Coo-ee March, which had gathered 263 men by the time it arrived in Sydney on 12 November.

Blue Mountains Historical Society

Initial Effects of the Outbreak of War 100 years ago
This short essay by Peter C. Rickwood describes how WWI affected the Blue Mountains.

Local Aboriginal history and culture

Aboriginal Blue Mountains

‘Funded and supported by the Blue Mountains City Council, this site aims to support the Aboriginal community through providing online contact points, resources and information. The Aboriginal Blue Mountains website may be useful as a valuable reference point when seeking local knowledge.’

University of Western Sydney: Dreaming on the Riverfarm – Stories from the Hawkesbury

‘Dreaming on the Riverfarm – Stories from the Hawkesbury is an oral history  about the UWS Hawkesbury Riverfarm. The stories cover Pre-European settlement through to the present day uses by the University of Western Sydney.’ Funded by a 2011-12 Your Community Heritage grant from the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.



A fantastic ABC TV Behind the News segment filmed in 2014 about an Aboriginal boy called Anzac, the fifth person in his family to be given this name, talking about his great great great grandfather who fought at Gallipoli and died in France. Aimed at middle-school and high-school students. 3min54sec. Transcript available.

Indigenous Anzacs

Another fantastic ABC TV Behind the News segment about a teenage ancestor of a WWI Aboriginal digger, from the Coorong (South Australia), talking about what ANZAC Day means to him. Aimed at middle-school and high-school students. Filmed in 2013. 4min8sec. Transcript available.

Gallipoli: The First Day – Centenary edition

Gary Oakley, Indigenous liaison officer at the Australian War Memorial, discusses the presence of Indigenous Australian soldiers at Gallipoli, what it was like for indigenous soldiers returning to Australia after the war and his take on the myth of Gallipoli. 6 March 2015. 8min10sec. Transcript available.


‘Aboriginal service during wartime’ on Big Ideas

ABC Radio National program with Paul Barclay. “John Maynard provides an overview of his research project that documents and recognises Aboriginal involvement and service from the Boer war through to Afghanistan. He also explains how the seeds of modern indigenous political activism can be traced back to the First World War.” February 2015. 16min55sec.

‘We will remember them’ on Awaye!, ABC Radio National

“Even though many were denied basic freedoms and other citizenship rights it’s now estimated that 800 Aboriginal men served in the First World War, from Gallipoli to the Light Horse in Egypt and even the Australian Tunnelling Company on the Western Front.” This was a special tribute on the 95th anniversary of the Anzac landing on the Turkish coast. April 2010. 32min46sec. Transcript available. Webpage includes a slideshow of photographs of Aboriginal WW1 servicemen.