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Australian Defence College

Peace Operations Training Centre

Australians in Peace Operations

Australia has a long and proud history of helping to keep peace in many of the world's trouble spots and, since the end of the Second World War, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has contributed to over thirty peace operations. This contribution, and the professionalism of the ADF, has earned the respect and admiration of Governments and individuals throughout the world.

Australia has had peacekeepers in the field with the United Nations continuously for over 50 years. In Indonesia in 1947, Australians were part of the very first group of UN military observers anywhere in the world, and were, in fact, the first into the field.

Since the 1970s, Australia's contributions to peacekeeping operations have increased in size and scope

Six multinational operations have been commanded by Australians:

  1. Lieutenant General Robert Nimmo was Chief Military Observer in Kashmir with the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, from 1950 to 1966.
  2. Lieutenant General John Sanderson was Force Commander with the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, 1992 to 1993.
  3. Major General David Ferguson was Force Commander with the Multinational Force and Observers (in the Sinai) from 1994 to 1997.
  4. Richard Butler led the UN Special Commission (in Iraq) from 1997 to 1999.
  5. Major General Timothy Ford was Chief of Staff with the UN Truce Supervision Organisation from 1998 to 2000.
  6. Major General Peter Cosgrove commanded the International Force for East Timor (Interfet) from 1999 to 2000.

Current Ops

Peacekeeping History

Australian Peacekeepers on the World Map