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Australia After War (ATOM Study Guide)

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SKU: SG1861

Australia has a long history of sending men and women to war. From mass global conflicts to peacekeeping operations – in just over a century our country has sent close to one million men and women to over forty different conflicts.

Some of those men and women never return, but those who do are honoured and revered for their service. Moreover, the veteran has become Australia’s most dominant cultural icon and those wartime qualities of mateship, stoicism and egalitarianism – personified so powerfully in the veteran – have become synonymous with what it means to be Australian. Veterans aren’t simply a part of Australian life, they have shaped it, profoundly.

The wartime experiences of people who served have been documented, detailed, dramatised and dissected in extraordinary detail and volume. Books are written, films are produced, and museums and memorials are built. Every year, he entire nation stops to honour wartime valour and sacrifice. But what about when the shooting stops? Far less known, and sometimes far less glorified, is what happens when our wars end and our soldiers come home. What is it like for those who have served to return to civilian life? With a Royal Commission into veteran suicide laying bare the price of military service and allegations of war crimes tarnishing the heroic image of the Australian veteran, perhaps now is a good opportunity to explore what happens when our wars come home. To do so is to understand how profoundly war has shaped Australia, how we have mythologized our military past, and the extraordinary cost of war for so many Australians both past and present. Australia After War is a comprehensive and thought-provoking exploration into one of the most important icons in Australian life.

Curriculum Links:

Australia After War is recommended for middle and senior secondary school students. It is particularly relevant to the teaching of History and Civics and Citizenship.

The series may also be relevant to study of the following learning areas:

  • Health / Community Services and Health (e.g. the needs and nature of social and community support)
  • English (e.g. representations of ideas, attitudes and voices)
  • Media Studies (e.g. how techniques, codes and conventions are used to create and challenge representations)
  • General Capabilities of Ethical Understanding, Personal and Social Capability and Intercultural Understanding

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