Serving Our Country
Indigenous Australians, war, defence and citizenship
Edited by Joan Beaumont and Allison Cadzow
Published by New South – LINK HERE TO BUY
RRP $39.99 in paperback • ISBN 9781742235394
After decades of silence, Serving Our Country is the first comprehensive history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s participation in the Australian defence forces.
While Indigenous Australians have enlisted in the defence forces since the Boer War, for much of this time they defied racist restrictions and were denied full citizenship rights on their return to civilian life.
But today there is a growing demand for recognition of their service in the defence of Australia.
As Joan Beaumont writes, for many decades, their story has been “marginalised in the national narratives of war, narratives that have formed a key element in Australia’s political culture and its histories.”
It is no surprise that the experiences of Indigenous soldiers and the after effects of war echo that of non-Indigenous soldiers: difficulty adjusting to civilian life, an inability to forget what they had seen on the battlefield and an inability to cope with the mental torment that ensued.
In Serving Our Country this highly respected group of writers reveals the courage, resilience, and trauma of Indigenous defence personnel and document the long struggle to gain recognition for their role in the defence of Australia.