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Defending Country:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Military Service Since 1945


Defending Country is the first book to document the unique experiences of Indigenous men and women since the Second World War.

Available. Dispatched 2-3 business days

Few Australians realise the extent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the military. Many enlisted before they had the right to vote, to drink alcohol or even to receive equal wages. Using compelling personal narratives and rigorous archival research, Defending Country explores how military service impacted the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruits. It also reveals how their involvement in Australia’s defence contributed to the advancement of Indigenous rights.

Historians Noah Riseman and Richard Trembath examine what motivated Indigenous people to sign up, their experiences of racism in the armed forces, the challenges in returning to civilian life and the role of the Australian Defence Force in promoting Reconciliation.

Defending Country is an important addition to Australia’s military history studies and offers a fascinating insight into little-known wartime experiences.

Noah Riseman

Noah Riseman

Dr Noah Riseman is an Associate Professor in History at Australian Catholic University. He specialises in the history of marginalised social groups in the Australian Defence Force. His first book, Defending Whose Country? Indigenous Soldiers in the Pacific War (2012), was shortlisted for the 2013 Chief Minister’s Northern Territory History Award.

Richard Trembath

Richard Trembath

Dr Richard Trembath has taught many university courses in a number of disciplines ranging from philosophy to military history. He is the co-author of several books, including Witnesses to War, a landmark chronicle of Australia’s war correspondents. Much of his work involves interviews and oral history. He is currently researching potential subjects for a biography.