Anzac Day 2017
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Foreign Affairs, Defence and
The purpose of this quick guide is to provide parliamentarians
and their staff with helpful resources for researching various aspects of
Australian military history. This document will be periodically updated when
additional resources become available. All website links below are accessible
as at 27 March 2017.
Online military history resources
The Australian War Memorial (AWM) website
The AWM website provides an extensive amount of military
history resources, including:
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs
DVA offers a variety of resources, ranging from lists of
anniversaries and commemorative events, nominal rolls for the Second World War,
Korea and Vietnam (with preliminary work beginning on the Gulf War) and
information on the Office of Australian War Graves.
The DVA website also contains a research tips guide and
approximately 50 media
backgrounder fact sheets on various aspects of Australia’s military
history, including involvement in wars and conflicts, commemorations and
DVA has also published the following reference websites Gallipoli and the Anzacs, Australians on the Western Front
War 1939–1945, Australia’s
involvement in the Korean War and Australia and the Vietnam
The National Archives of Australia
The NAA website contains an array of primary source military
history documents and thematic fact sheets. These include service records,
administrative records, internment records and national service records. The
NAA guide to researching war service webpage
provides useful information, as well as a link to the RecordSearch database. The
376,000 First World War service records have been digitised
in their entirety, following the three year ‘Gift to the Nation’ digitisation
project. Digitisation of other records remains ongoing.
The NAA has also created the Discovering Anzacs website, featuring
profiles of Australian military personnel, an image gallery and a mapping tool
highlighting the places of birth and enlistment of those who served in the Boer
War and First World War.
The AIF Project website
This is a database coordinated by academic historian Peter
Dennis which allows the searching of Australian First World War personnel by
name, service number or location of birth/place of residence upon enlistment.
The National Library of Australia’s
As a result of the National Library’s newspaper
digitisation program, more than 1,000 different newspapers across all states
and territories have been digitised, spanning the early 1800s to the mid-20th
century (full list available here).
These newspapers are keyword-searchable and provide substantial media coverage
of the war front and the home front during the First and Second World Wars.
The Australian Dictionary of
This website contains searchable biographic articles of
notable personalities, including those involved in the military. It is an
initiative of the National Centre of Biography at the Australian National
The Parliament of Australia ParlInfo database
provides for keyword searching across House of Representatives and Senate
Hansard, committee reports and proceedings and Bills debated within the Parliament.
This database is useful in identifying the parliamentary proceedings during
times of conflict.
Parliamentary Library resources
Honours and awards
The Department of Defence website contains information
regarding the different types of Australian and Imperial military awards. The
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s It’s an Honour website provides
further details on Australian honours, including the ability to search by an
individual or a specific award or medal.
Australia’s defence force services
- The Australian Army History Unit website
contains primary source materials regarding the Australian Army forces’
contribution to conflicts spanning pre-Federation to Vietnam, support to
peacekeeping operations and information regarding unit histories and
- The Royal Australian Air Force website
contains overview information of the RAAF’s contribution to Australian military
operations. The heritage
of the RAAF is also described, including a listing
of famous RAAF personnel. The RAAF website also gives information regarding the
of the red poppy, the last post, the dawn service and Remembrance Day.
- The Royal Australian Navy website
contains reference material regarding the histories of various ships,
submarines and naval bases, customs, traditions and navy personnel.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander military service
- The Australian War Memorial website contains an overview
of the history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander military service,
including specific sections regarding its involvement in Australia’s various
- In May 2014, the Indigenous Liaison Officer for the AWM, Gary
Oakley, delivered the lecture ‘Aboriginals in the First Australian Imperial
Force, a Secret History’, as part of the Parliamentary Library’s series Parliament,
War and Empire. This lecture can be downloaded as an MP3
file, with an accompanying PowerPoint presentation
- In October 2006, the Kurbingui Star published
a list of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel who served in the
First World War, including their place of birth. This document is contained on
the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website,
which also provides details of other online and hardcopy resources regarding
the military service of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel.
- The Year Book Australia 1925, published on the Australian Bureau
of Statistics website,
contains an overview of the soldier settlements schemes across Australia.
- The Public Records of Victoria website, Battle to Farm,
holds the digitised records for soldier settlers in Victoria from 1919 to 1935.
- A Land
fit for heroes?: a history of soldier settlement in New South Wales
from 1916 to 1939, developed by the Australian Research Council, Monash
University, the University of New England, DVA and State Records NSW.
For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.
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