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Military Resources: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

This State Library of South Australia guide to military related information includes medals, militia and Australian involvement in conflicts. The emphasis is on South Australian resources.

Using the Library Catalogue

The Library catalogue contains details of material in all formats: books, photographs, article references and unpublished material, including oral histories.

To find further material relevant to this topic, try searching a person’s name as a subject heading (surname, first name) in the State Library catalogue or search using the subject heading:

Aboriginal Australian soldiers

For more assistance, talk with staff at the Information Desk or Ask Us.

Archival material


B 70876 
B 707876

The Library catalogue contains the majority of the Library's digitised photographs. Searches of the catalogue can be made using keywords such as the names of places, communities, or individuals.

The catalogue also contains citations for articles found in newspapers and journals. These citation records will indicate if a photograph appears along with the story.

Additional collections of photographs can be found using appropriate keyword searches in Trove and the Australian War Memorial website.

Periodical articles

Selected South Australian newspapers, published prior to 1955, have been digitised as part of the National Library of Australia’s Trove website.

Further newspaper articles may be identified by using the following, Newspaper index : references to Aborigines in Adelaide newspapers, 1836-1940, 1989.

Within AIATSIS online indigenous newsletters such as the Native Title Newsletter.

InfoKoori is an index of articles found in the Koori Mail, with some references to biographical information found in other Aboriginal community publications including Our Aim, Dawn and New Dawn.

Aboriginal history. no. 16, 1992. Special edition ‘Aborigines in the Services.’

History Australia. vol. 10, no. 2, 2013. Noah Riseman. ‘Racism, indigenous people, and the Australian armed forces in the post-second world war era.’

Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society. vol. 79, nos 3-4, 1993. David Huggonson. ‘Aboriginal diggers of the 9th Brigade first AIF.’

Sabretache. vol. 31, nos 1-4, 1990. Rod Pratt. ‘Queensland's Aborigines in the first AIF.’

Sabretache, vol. 34, no. 1, 1993. Bruce Topperwien. ‘Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who assisted the Australian Defence Force in northern Australia during World War Two.’ (A list of previously unacknowledged people, not formally enlisted in the Defence Forces but who aided in the defence of Australia.)

Wartime. vol. 12, (Summer) 2000. Vanessa Seekee. ‘One ilan man': the Torres Strait Light Infantry.’

Wartime. issue 76, (Spring) 2016. Special edition 'Defending country: Indigenous service'.

To locate more contemporary journal and newspaper articles, access the State Library's eResources.


480 - ANZAC. Short film made by the ABC's Message Stick program, telling the story of two Aboriginal servicemen, Len Waters and Albert Knight.

The forgotten, 2002. Tells the story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women.

Anzac Day - South Australia 2004. With speeches by Kenny Laughton, Lewis O'Brien and George Tongerie.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial

B 73281

Dedicated 10 November 2013, this memorial stands to the west of the Vietnam War Memorial beside the Torrens Parade Ground, and close to the River Torrens (Karrawirraparri), a site of significance for the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains.