Since its inception, the Australian War Memorial has sponsored the production of Australia’s official war histories. In 2016 the Memorial, with funding from the Australian government, began writing the official history of the most recent conflicts in which Australia has been involved. The team, led by Official Historian Professor Craig Stockings, will provide a detailed, authoritative account of Australia’s extensive and complex combat operations in Iraq (2003–11) and Afghanistan (2001–14), as well as its role in peacekeeping operations in East Timor (1999–2012).

Australia has had long-running involvements in both Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 40,000 Australian Defence Force personnel have served in or directly supported these operations since 2001. More than 40 Australians have died as a result of their service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and hundreds more have been wounded.

Australia’s involvement in East Timor, from 1999 to the end of 2012, was instrumental in that nation gaining independence. The International Force East Timor (Interfet), deployed from 1999 to 2000, remains Australia’s largest peacekeeping mission to date, and the largest overseas military deployment since the Vietnam War. Furthermore, it was the first time Australia had led a major international coalition.

The Official History of Australian Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Australian Peacekeeping Operations in East Timor will comprise the following volumes:

  • Volume I: covering operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East, 2001–06
  • Volume II: covering operations in Iraq, 2003–11
  • Volume III: covering operations in Afghanistan, 2005–10
  • Volume IV: covering operations in Afghanistan, 2010–14
  • Australian peacekeeping operations in East Timor:
    • Volume I covering the period of the Interfet deployment, 1999–2000
    • Volume II covering the period 2000–12

Six distinguished historians have been appointed as authors: Dr Craig Stockings (Official Historian), Dr Steven Bullard, Dr Rhys Crawley, Dr David Stevens, Dr Roger Lee, and Dr Robert Stevenson. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.

The Official History team welcomes input from veterans and families of veterans who have served in or supported the operations in East Timor, Iraq, and Afghanistan. If you would like to contribute any information regarding your experiences, please contact the Official History team using the online form below:

Complete the online contribution form

For all other enquiries regarding the Official History project should be directed to: officialhistories@awm.gov.au

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