This special exhibition explores the extraordinary history of First Peoples’ service in the Australian Defence Force. In the early 20th century, defence service provided an escape for First Peoples from ongoing dispossession and discrimination and was for many their first experience of equal treatment. Most were paid the same rates as their European counterparts and there was little racism on the front line. Indeed, First Peoples service personnel felt a strong sense of continuing ancient traditions of protecting Country, and hoped their example of service would help improve conditions for their families and communities. Veterans, however, returned to the same discrimination they had previously known. These stories matter to us; we know they’ll matter to you.