Introduction

Canberra is known across Australia as the seat of the federal government and the centre of political debate. But it is also the city built to enshrine our national values and to honour those for whom military service has often meant great sacrifice.

From the beginning, the armed forces have been central to the role Canberra plays in Australian national life. The first young officer cadets marched into the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1911. As the capital grew from a village to a city, its sons and daughters volunteered to fight in wars across the globe. In the modern era, Australia is again on the world stage, in both war and peacekeeping, and Canberrans proudly count themselves among those wearing the uniforms of the navy, army and air force.

Canberra is also the focus of national and local commemoration. The Australian War Memorial honours the sacrifice and achievement of more than 102,000 Australian men and women who have died serving their country, as well as those who have served overseas or at home.