Proud Race

Deep In The Trenches

Deep In The Trenches - Stories about forgotten war veterans both past and present.


This section contains images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including servicemen and women and community members, who are now deceased.

This may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family and community members, including students and staff.

John Murray OAM

John Stewart Murray was a Wamba Wamba Elder, respected for his unwavering commitment to the advancement of his people. He could always be counted on to speak 'as straight as a spear' — appropriate given that his tribal name, Werremander, means 'whistling spear'.

Sir Douglas Nicholls KCVO OBE JP

The achievements of Sir Douglas Nicholls are many and varied, taking in the fields of sport, politics and social justice. He broke new ground — as the first Indigenous Australian to receive a knighthood in 1972, and the first to be appointed to vice-regal office, when he became Governor of South Australia in 1976.

Elizabeth Pike

Elizabeth Pike is a gifted writer, whose stories resonate with anyone who has struggled with their identity or felt they did not belong.

William Punch

William Joseph Punch, a station hand from Queensland, enlisted in the AIF in Goulburn, New South Wales, on 31 December 1915. Unlike earlier volunteers, he was not subjected to the latent resistance against non-white Australians enlisting in the AIF. William had received basic formal education and at the age of 36 was said to have been an accomplished musician. His enlistment application listed "laborer" as his occupation and his skin Colour was identified as "black".

Reginald Saunders MBE

Reginald 'Reg' Saunders was the first Aboriginal person to be commissioned as an officer in the Australian Army; a significant accomplishment at a time when Aboriginal people were often discriminated against.