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

What has the Australian War Memorial got to do with the Australian Frontier Wars?
‘As a former historian at the Memorial, I have advocated for forty years that it should recognise what we now call the Australian wars’, Professor Peter Stanley writes.
View All
First Nations History
After the Dreaming: The 1968 Boyer Lectures (1969 and later editions)
Stanner, WEH
More than 50 years on, these essays on Aboriginals, their society and their vision of the world still inform and stimulate. Contains the famous phrase, ‘the great Australian silence’.
Frontier Wars
First Nations History
Australian Frontier Conflicts 1788-1940s and Beyond
Morrison, Jane
Seeks to document the frontier conflicts between European colonists and Australia’s First Peoples. Maps, timelines, names of warriors, memorials, resources, latest news. Separate sites for each state.
Frontier Wars
Queensland
Killing for Country: a Family Story (2023)
Marr, David
A gripping reckoning with the bloody history of Australia's frontier wars. David Marr was shocked to discover forebears who served with the brutal Native Police in the bloodiest years on the frontier. Killing for Country is the result – a soul-searching Australian history. This is a richly detailed saga of politics and power in the colonial world – of land seized, fortunes made and lost, and the violence let loose as squatters and their allies fought for possession of the country – a war still unresolved in today's Australia.

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
A contrast between how we treat deaths in our Overseas Wars and in the Australian Wars
This is some text inside of a div block.
General
No items found.
Official advice on how to lodge an Expression of Interest ...
This is some text inside of a div block.
General
Three articles (1973-81) from historian Humphrey McQueen on frontier conflict ...
This is some text inside of a div block.
General
Contrasts the treatment of uniformed soldiers with that of First Nations ...
This is some text inside of a div block.
General
Greg Lehman and Henrietta Marrie are Supporters of Defending Country
This is some text inside of a div block.
General