Members of the Australian Army History Unit have collected more than 1500 historic artefacts from ADF operations across the Middle East since 2001.

The ADF Field History Team transported the heritage items to Australia in July. 

Select items are on display in the Australian War Memorial and ADF museums across Australia.

Team leader Lieutenant Colonel Andrew White said the collection provided insights into the work and the equipment used by ADF members on deployment.

“There’s a significant number of rotation boards, which are metal or wood signage and artwork made by deployed elements,” Lieutenant Colonel White said.

The team liaised with Joint Task Force 633 to identify the artefacts and managed the cataloguing process.

Lieutenant Colonel White said the primary focus when assessing an item for heritage value was on providence. 

“These are genuine artefacts that will help the Australian public to understand the activities and duties carried out by the ADF on deployments in the Middle East,” Lieutenant Colonel White said.

“It’s also important for veterans to be able to reflect on their own service overseas, to give them the opportunity to show and talk to their loved ones about their experiences.”

Lieutenant Colonel White said he was amazed by the creativity of the deployed ADF women and men.

“We discovered clever artworks and customised equipment designed to meet a specific purpose,” Lieutenant Colonel White said.

“We even found a stretcher with wheels attached that can be towed behind a bike, and a bespoke trike-bike tailored by signallers to assist in laying communication cable.”

The history team was deployed from Australia following the cessation of operations in Afghanistan to ensure key items across the region were secured and conserved. 

To learn more about the Australian Army History Unit and its museums, visit www.army.gov.au/our-heritage/history