Cultural support Cultural support
Cultural support

The ADF recognises and respects the proud heritage of its Indigenous members and supports a variety of cultural events. These include smoking ceremonies incorporated into Anzac Day services, the conduct of Welcome to Country at important Army events, and Acknowledgement of Country plaques at Army barracks. In 2015 a group of Indigenous Army members conducted a unique ceremony at Lone Pine Turkey and the Australian War Memorial to ‘honour warrior spirits’ – paying respects to those who lost their lives in the First World War.

World Wars I and II World Wars I and II
World Wars I and II

Over 1,000 Indigenous Australians served in the First World War and 6,000 either enlisted or supported the Army in the Second World War. Torres Strait Islanders made a particularly significant contribution with the formation of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion.

Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion
Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion

Formed in 1943, the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion helped protect Australia's northern coastline from Japanese attack. Around 700 men used local knowledge to make a vital contribution to defensive operations, while some employed their culinary experience with the local marine life to help sustain thousands of troops in the area.

Special Reconnaissance Unit Special Reconnaissance Unit
The Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit

Up to 50 tribal Yolngu men from East Arnhem Land were recruited for this unit in 1941. With their ability to live off the land they were highly mobile, and they used traditional bushcraft and fighting skills to patrol the coastal area and provide an early warning of Japanese attack during World War II.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal Oodgeroo Noonuccal
An inspirational military and civilian career

Oodgeroo Noonuccal, formerly known as Kath Walker, served in the Australian Women's Service during the Second World War and later participated in the Army's rehabilitation scheme by training in secretarial work and bookkeeping. She went on to become one of Australia's most respected and admired poets, educators and political activists.

The terms Indigenous and Indigenous Australians are used to describe all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Please be aware that this website may contain images or content relating to deceased persons. It may also contain words and descriptions that are culturally sensitive.