Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wartime service

Reg Saunders meets 'Diver' Derrick VC

R. W. Saunders (left), was the first Aboriginal to be commissioned as an officer in the Australian Army.

Suitable for upper primary and secondary students. This program is adapted to suit students at different age and aptitude levels.


Many Aboriginal Australians have been a part of the Australian armed forces since the Boer War. Although not permitted to become Australian citizens until 1967, service in the armed forces was one area where Indigenous Australians experienced less discrimination than in the wider Australian society. This program explores some of their experiences and the impact these have had on the indigenous community and the wider Australian population.

Key themes

This program will help students gain an understanding of the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians during war at home and abroad. It examines some of the reasons they fought, where they served, and what effect it had on their communities and Australia as a whole.



Price $7.70 per student (incl. GST) valid to 19 July 2020
$6.60 per student (incl. GST) valid from 20 July 2020

60 minutes
45 minutes (from 20 July 2020)

Maximum number 60 students per hour
Group size 15
Available 9 am – 3.30 pm