Australia at War: Past and Present Conflicts

January 7, 2021

Australia has been involved in multiple wars and conflicts since World War I and II. Remembrance Day is an annual commemoration of the service men and women who have fought in them.

Throughout Australia’s history, war has had and continues to have a significant impact on its people and society. It is important to understand Australia’s role in these conflicts, while reflecting on how the tragedy of war can be avoided and its casualties commemorated and supported.

Learning Resources

This Britannica School (Australia) Primary Level Resource Pack ↗ is a compilation of age-appropriate articles and multimedia on past and present conflicts that have affected Australia.

Use these resources to learn about Australia’s involvement in the two World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the Iraq War. Study how propaganda influenced people’s perceptions with posters from World War I and II. Watch a video to learn about the Japanese bombing of the city of Darwin, Australia during World War II.

Teacher Tip:
A middle school resource pack is also available for more advanced learners
Britannica School (Australia) Middle level resource pack ↗

Supplementary Activities

    1. Research different wars that have occurred in the past. Complete the Past Conflicts worksheet outlining the details of each conflict.
    2. Examine the war posters included in the resource pack, answer the following questions:
      • Why do governments employ war artists?
      • What is the difference between art and propaganda?
      • What makes a great work of art or successful propaganda poster?

      Create your own propaganda poster.

    3. Explore the significance of war memorials. Analyse the feelings a memorial might evoke, the historical significance it has and the conflict and people it commemorates. Complete the War Memorials worksheet.

Download all worksheets


Featured Image from Britannica ImageQuest: Australian Troops Attend Welcome Home Parade. BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 28: Australian soldiers who served in Iraq over the last five years march through the streets of Brisbane at the Queensland Welcome Home Parade on June 28, 2008 in Brisbane, Australia. Photo by: Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images News / Getty Images / Universal Images Group

These activities and resources have been created using content from Britannica School, the go-to site for safe, comprehensive student research. Contact your librarian to find out if your institution already has access. Find out more about Britannica School or set up your own free trial.

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