Between 800 and 1,000 Aboriginal Australians volunteered to enlist in the First World War. At enlistment camps, Aboriginal Australians stood side by side with other Australians to answer the call of duty. They fought together with their mates in the trenches, they suffered the hardships of war, and their families and communities grieved those who didn’t come home.
The contribution of Aboriginal service men and women to the First World War has not always been well recognised.
A Victorian Indigenous Remembrance Service is now held each year on 31 May at 11am at the Shrine of Remembrance. This Service was initiated by Aunty Dot Peters, a Wurundjeri Elder, who wanted to recognise the service of her father, who died on the Burma Railway, and to commemorate the service of all those Aboriginal service men and women who have served in the Australian Defence Force.
victorian aboriginal wwi service – research project
The Veterans Branch and Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, Department of Premier & Cabinet, worked together to collate and uncover information about the history of Victorian Aboriginal First World War service.
RESEARCHING YOUR FAMILY CONNECTION TO THE ANZACS
The Victorian Government encourages all Victorians to research their own connection to the Anzacs and to share their WWI stories to the Anzac Centenary website.
Tools that can assist Aboriginal families to research their connection to World War – I
Read about the contribution of Aboriginal Australians to WWI
- Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll
- The Australian War Memorial
- The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
- Indigenous Histories
- Department of Premier and Cabinet
- Monash University