Learning about Australia in World War II


Start with our extensive section on the experiences of Australians in World War II. We’ve also covered Australians and the Vietnam War.

Then enrich your lesson plans with historically accurate information and excellent primary sources in our free teaching resources.

Our education specialists and historians have prepared these materials to present the stories and images of people who have served Australia in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

You can download free books and classroom activities from our website. Hard copies of many of our books and resources might be available in your school library. If not, send an email to education@dva.gov.au and we’ll post you a free hard copy if we have it stock.

Teaching resources

Information for secondary school teachers and activities for students.

Great Debates classroom activity

Stories of Service short videos

Narrated biographies of people who served in World War I, in under 8 minutes.

Narrated stories of people who served in the Vietnam War.

Short documentaries and oral histories

Australians in World War II book series

Australians in the Pacific book series

Paths to Victory podcast

Join our social historian to explore some of the many paths our veterans took through the Second World War on the road to Victory in the Pacific.

Wartime artworks

Learn more about artists capturing the wartime experiences of Australians.

Incident In Which Flight Sergeant Rawdon Middleton [VC] Lost His Life

Painted during World War II by British artist David Smith, depicting an Australian pilot, Rawdon Hume 'Ron' Hume.

Wounded Gunner from Lae

Painted during World War II by Australian artist Roy Hodgkinson, depicting Australian aircrew helping a wounded gunner from his aircraft.

Two working men, Konyu River Camp

Sketched during World War II by British artist, soldier and prisoner of war Jack Bridger Chalker, depicting allied prisoners of war.

The Japanese guard takes a ride

Painted during World War II by Australian artist and prisoner of war Vaughan Murray Griffin, depicting Australians pulling a heavy cart.

Long Tan action, Vietnam

Painted during the Vietnam War by Australian artist Bruce Fletcher, depicting a battle in a rubber plantation.

Century of Service series

In the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, there are 15 stained-glass windows. Each shows a figure dressed in military uniform, and under each figure is a word that describes a quality displayed by Australians during wartime. This series of books was inspired by those qualities. Most of the books include information about World War II.

Indigenous Service workbooks

Five ready-to-use workbooks introduce students to the military service of First Nations people. You could ask students to complete parts of each workbook in class or as home learning.

Other great resources for Year 10 History classes

Commemoration in schools

Planning a activity in your school or local community? Follow our guidance on planning a commemorative event.

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Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) ( ), Learning about Australia in World War II, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 5 March 2024, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/education/theme/ww2
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