Learning about Australia in global peace operations


Australian peacekeepers were the first on the ground in the first United Nations peacekeeping operation in 1947. Sent to the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), these 4 servicemen were our first peacekeepers. Since then, thousands of Australian military personnel, police and civilians have served as peacekeepers, peacemakers, peacebuilders and peace enforcers. Some Australians have also led global operations.

Commemoration of Australians who served

Group of 28 men in green military fatigues with blue berets standing in a triangular formation in front of the ruins of an ancient temple

Members of the Australian contingent to the United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC), Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 25 February 1992. AWM P01811.001

National Peacekeepers' Day on 14 September

We observe National Peacekeepers' Day each year to recognise and remember Australian peace operations. This is the anniversary of the day in 1947 when Australia deployed its first peacekeeping mission to the Netherlands East Indies.

Learn more about Australia's peacekeeping missions since 1947.

75th Anniversary of Peacekeeping poster

This year - 2022 - is the 75th anniversary of Australia's involvement in global peacekeeping missions. Use this poster to recognise and remember those who served and continue to serve in Australian peacekeeping operations.

30th Anniversary of UNOSOM I and II in Somalia

This year - 2022 - we commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Australian Defence Force deployment to Somalia from 1992 to 1995.

Teaching resources on peacekeeping

Stories of Service short films

Year levels: 7 to 12

This series of short biographies highlights the experience of peacekeeping through the service of everyday Australians.

Peacekeeping and the United Nations Digibook

Year levels: 5 to 8

Another classroom-ready resource helps students to understand the role of the United Nations (UN) and its peace operations around the world. It highlights Australia's involvement in peacekeeping operations. Teacher notes and activities accompany the digibook.

Important Military Roles in War and Peace book

Year levels: 5 to 10

Over the past 100 years, many Australians have served in vital roles that support military and peacekeeping operations. Read about essential but lesser-known occupations, from clearance divers and engineers to linguists and musicians.

Control: Stories of Australian peacekeeping and humanitarian operations book

Year levels: 5 to 10

Our education book in the Century of Service series explores the stories of people who have fostered security and safety during peacekeeping operations. They have seen the struggles and triumphs of the human spirit in the face of conflict and disaster. Read about their experience.

Visual art activities

Year levels: 7 to 10

Two new teaching resources in our Expressions: Commemoration through art series help develop students' understanding of wartime through artworks. Both focus on Australians serving in global peacekeeping missions. These resources include background context and educational questions to encourage student research.

Learn more about artists capturing the service experiences of Australians.

Keeping the Peace: Investigating Australia's contribution to peacekeeping

Year levels: 10 to 12

This teaching resource explores Australia's contribution to International peacekeeping operations. Australia’s peacekeepers have been selected from military, police and civilian backgrounds to serve in armed and unarmed roles. Use this as a tool to guide further learning and discussion.

Peacekeeping: In Their Own Words lesson

Year levels: 11 to 12

A new lesson in our In Their Own Words series aims to develop students’ understanding of service during peacekeeping operations. We've highlighted topics using interviews from our Veterans’ Stories project. Guide your students through the lessons and encourage discussion. Educational activities accompany each video.

World Wide Effort: Australia's Peacekeepers book

Year levels: 11 to 12

A historical account of Australians as global peacekeepers, peacemakers and peacebuilders. Read this book online.

Veterans' Stories oral histories

Year levels: 11 to 12

We gather the stories of veterans who have served Australia in peacekeeping operations. Some content might be disturbing to some viewers.

See Peacekeeping Veteran Stories.

Get in touch

If you want to learn more about our resources, please email education@dva.gov.au or fill in the form at Contact us.

You can also reach us at this postal address:

Community Engagement Section
Department of Veterans' Affairs
GPO Box 9998
Brisbane QLD 4001

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Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) ( ), Learning about Australia in global peace operations, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 19 June 2024, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/education/theme/peacekeeping
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