Sections

Services

Information

US United States

Australian history

Articles (1 - 20 of 65)

The recent concentration on Victoria Cross heroes as major ‘carriers’ of the Anzac legend has skewed Australian military history. AAP/Mark Graham

A hundred in a million: our obsession with the Victoria Cross

Australians now seem so fascinated by the Victoria Cross that such attention has begun to get in the way of a balanced perspective on its place in military history.
The Whitlam government had a reformist vision whose origins lay in the future prime minister’s own wartime experience. AWM

Gough’s war: making a politician, changing a nation

While serving in the RAAF, future prime minister Gough Whitlam led his first political campaign, agitating among his own squadron in support of the 1944 referendum.
The Gallipoli campaign is frequently celebrated as the ‘birth’ of Australia as a nation, but were we already well on our way? AWM

How the Great War shaped the foundations of Australia’s future

Every country has its most symbolic year from each of the world wars, and can trace the consequences of the bloodletting that accompanied the global realignment of the last century.
Silent tributes at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, representing more than 100,000 men and women lost in war. Lukas Coch/AAP

Australia’s unknown soldier: a powerful symbol of loss and faith

Why did it take three-quarters of a century beyond the first world war for Australians to build our own tomb of the unknown soldier, remembering the 23,000 Australians who died with no known grave?
The idea of the Anzac soldier, as crafted by Australia’s official historian at Gallipoli, Charles Bean, has dominated historical memory. AWM

Bean’s Anzac Book shaped how Australians think about Gallipoli

Charles Bean made editorial decisions to eliminate the bloody realities of war in favour of a specially crafted and idealised construction of the Anzacs and the Gallipoli campaign.
Had hundreds of thousands of young Turkish men not joined the army and headed to Gallipoli, it’s without doubt modern Turkey would not have been formed. AWM

Turkish view remains neglected in our understanding of Gallipoli

What is rare in Australia is an adequate explanation and understanding of the Turkish perspective of the Gallipoli campaign.
For nurses going on active service, to have the close friendship of at least one other woman was of primary importance. State Library of South Australia

Friendship in war was not just confined to bonds between men

The diaries of army nurses during the First World War are unsurpassed sources for discovering the nature of friendship during war.
In 1915, Australians came to terms with total war – and were prepared for the battle at Gallipoli and conscription in 1916. Australian War Memorial/Flickr

1915 in Australia: the reality of total war sinks in

It was not the excitement but the seriousness of the first world war that captured the imaginations of Australians. The experience of 1915 had a marked effect on local commitment to winning the war.
Aboriginal gargoyles are the Australian War Memorial’s only overt representation, albeit unintentional, of a violent history of colonisation. James Sinclair

Gargoyles and silence: ‘our story’ at the Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial promises to tell 'our story' about the nation's war experience – but it silences many stories about Australia's nationhood and glosses over Indigenous experience.
Faith Bandler will be remembered as a tireless advocate for the rights of South Sea Islanders in Australia. AAP Image/Jane Dempster

Vale Faith Bandler: anti-racist intellectual and activist

Mrs Faith Bandler has died. We mourn our loss and honour her life. Her death on Friday marks the end of an era. At the age of 96 years, she outlived all the other black political activists of her generation…
In 2004, the Indigenous population of Redfern finally struck back at perceived endless police oppression and violence. AAP/Sam Mooy

The nine race riots that made Australia – for better and worse

The aftermath of the 1934 Kalgoorlie riots, with their death toll of an “Aussie” and a “Slav”, the mass destruction of the homes of the Dings at Dingbat Flat and the rising horror in the town at how the…
There are thousands of entries of famous, notorious, and almost unknown Australians in the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Sir Donald Bradman and Larry Adler, AAP Image/Universal Music

The art and graft of the Australian Dictionary of Biography

The Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) is Australia’s largest and longest-running social sciences and humanities project. Set up in 1957, it has been publishing short accounts of significant and…
Despite what the protesters' sign says, it remains to be seen how regional Australia accepts refugees under the proposed safe haven enterprise visa scheme. AAP/Newzulu/Lesly Lotha

Refuge and morality in Australia, from lost at sea to lost on land

Australia has long had an obsession with migration law and national boundaries. Currently, it appears in the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill…
The breastplate given to ‘U. Robert King of the Big River and Big Leather Tribes’ by an unknown settler at Goonal station. Photo Dragi Markovic, National Museum of Australia

A breastplate reveals the story of an Australian frontier massacre

The flood of coverage of the centenary of Gallipoli and the first world war profoundly shapes the way we think of Australia’s history; but we suppress other violent events in our own country that also…
An image of Australian shearers taken on glass plate negative is now preserved in a digital collection. Powerhouse Museum Collection/Flickr

Historic collections could be lost to ‘digital dinosaurs’

Australian’s museums, galleries and other cultural institutions must adopt more of a digital strategy with their collections if they are to remain relevant with audiences. Only about a quarter of the collections…
Today’s young Australians are the smiling symbols of the embrace of multicultural identity, the nation’s defining moment. Flickr/DIBP Images, Faces of Australia

Modern Australia’s defining moment came long after First Fleet

The culture wars that dominated the narrative during John Howard’s prime ministership have returned with the ascension of his self-described “political love child”, Tony Abbott. While Abbott is sometimes…
Scrapbook, G. Roberts (John Garibaldi), Book 7 Vol. 7a. Museum Victoria, courtesy of State Library of Victoria

Ten kilos of first world war grief at the Melbourne Museum

The Melbourne Museum’s World War I: Love & Sorrow exhibition, which opens this weekend, explores the various experiences of Victorians in the Great War, and the war’s effects on them. Museums have…
When did the name ‘Australia’ first appear on a map? It may be much earlier than historians had previously believed. Phillip Clarke

Putting ‘Australia’ on the map

Matthew Flinders, who died just over 200 years ago, is widely credited with giving this country its name: Australia. Flinders preferred Australia to the more commonly used Terra Australis as he thought…
Nicholas Clements' The Black War sheds new light on the long and bloody war between colonists and Aboriginal people in Tasmania in the early 19th century. Crop of Governor Davey's Proclamation to the Aborigines, Wikimedia Commons

Noted works: The Black War

Nicholas Clements, The Black War: Fear, Sex and Resistance in Tasmania (2014, University of Queensland Press). In the heat of commemoration of Australians’ involvement in the first world war, it’s timely…

Top contributors

More