Wominjeka! Yumalundi!*

We pay respect to First Nations people and to their Elders past, present and emerging. This website was developed in Naarm (Wurundjeri Country, Kulin Nation) and Kamberri (Ngambri and Ngunnawal people) on land that always was and always will be Aboriginal and has never been ceded. This website contains information and images (including images of people who have died) that may cause distress to First Nations people. 
* Wominjeka means ‘welcome’ or ‘come with purpose’ in the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. Yumalundi means ‘Hello’ in the Ngunnawal language of the Canberra traditional owners.

Defending Country

Defending Country applies to all who have fought for Australia or parts of it. It applies just as much to First Australians (Arrernte, Noongar, Wiradjuri, and others), defending their Country on Country (and dying on Country), as it does to uniformed Australians fighting our overseas wars.

For an expanded explanation of Defending Country, link here.

As a veteran I can’t see how my service was somehow more deserving of being commemorated than that of First Australians warriors who fought bravely against superior forces. (Noel Turnbull, 104 Field Battery, Vietnam, 1968-69)

The Australian Frontier Wars

Read why the Australian Frontier Wars are important to Australia and Australians. In summary:

  • Australia is built on the Frontier Wars.
  • The Frontier Wars killed tens of thousands of Australians.
  • Intergenerational trauma cannot be left in the silence.
  • What we commemorate shows what we regard as important.
  • We need to close the Commemoration Gap.
Australia was fought for in an endless war of little, cruel battles. (David Marr, Killing for Country, 2023, p. 131)

Reading List Selections

View All
Frontier Wars
Western Australia
Every Mother's Son is Guilty: Policing the Kimberley Frontier of Western Australia 1882-1905 (2016)
Owen, Chris
The policing of Aboriginal people changed from protection under law to punishment and control. The subsequent violence of colonial settlement and the associated policing and criminal justice system that developed, often of questionable legality, was what Royal Commissioner Roth in 1905 termed a ‘brutal and outrageous state of affairs’.
Frontier Wars
South Australia
Fatal Collisions: The South Australian Frontier and the Violence of Memory (2002)
Foster, Robert, Rick Hosking and Amanda Nettelbeck
History of race relations between settlers and Indigenous people; book not intended to be a history of violence on the South Australian frontier but rather 'an exploration of the ways in which the violence has been remembered'.
First Nations History
Queensland
Frontier Justice: a History of the Gulf Country to 1900 (2005)
Roberts, Tony
The Gulf country was a harsh and in places impassable wilderness. To explorers, it promised discovery, and to bold adventurers like the overlanders and pastoralists, a new start. For prospectors, it was a gateway to the riches of the Kimberley goldfields. To the 2,500 Aboriginal inhabitants, it was their physical and spiritual home. From the 1870s, with the opening of the Coast Track, cattlemen eager to lay claim to vast tracts of station land brought cattle in massive numbers and destruction to precious lagoons and fragile terrain. Black and white conflict escalated into unfettered violence and retaliation that would extend into the next century, displacing, and in some areas destroying, the original inhabitants.

Related sites and organisations

View All

Patrons and Supporters

View All

Defending Country thanks these distinguished Australians for agreeing to be Patrons of our website and project. While each of them supports the objectives of the Defending Country campaign, they do not necessarily endorse every post or every word on the defendingcountry.au website and do not necessarily agree with each other on everything.

Patron
Thomas Mayo
Read more…
Patron
Clare Wright
Read more…
Patron
Henry Reynolds
Read more…
Patron
Megan Davis
Read more…

Testimonials

View All
Answer to Question on Notice from Senator Dorinda Cox
This is some text inside of a div block.
No items found.
Minister Burney's speech to the AIATSIS summit 6 June 2024
This is some text inside of a div block.
General
Comment on news reports of Reconciliation Week and Victoria Police apology for Stolen Generations.
This is some text inside of a div block.
Note about reaction to David Marr's recent book Killing for Country
This is some text inside of a div block.
Mention of additional funding for the War Memorial
This is some text inside of a div block.