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Accessing Records

Accessing DVA Records

Under Australia’s freedom of information law, you have a right to access the documents DVA holds. When DVA releases a document, they put the details in their disclosure log. 


Pertinent Acts

  • the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA)

  • the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA)

  • the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

  • the Archives Act 1983 historical information 

Service & Personnel Records

Department of Defence Service & Personnel Records

Military services records

These records contain information of a Veteran’s military service. 

Where do I find military records?

Two national government agencies, located in Canberra, hold most of the records about Australian service men and women:


State archives also have records from before Federation (1901) relating to the Boer War.  See this overview of service records from the Department of Defence for a quick guide to where records are held – for both current and ex-serving members.

You may also find military records on family history websites like Ancestry and Find My Past but generally all of these can be accessed directly through the National Archives, Australian War Memorial or state archives.

National Archives of Australia

The National Archives' collection of records about Australia's defence and war efforts will help you learn more about your family's war history, support your academic research, or commemorate ex-service members.  Records in the National Archives are available to the public if the records are more than 20 years old, called ‘the open period’. 

Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial maintains a set of searchable lists called ‘rolls’ which are names of service persons in the following categories:

  • Roll of Honour – names of service persons who died on active service

  • Commemorative Roll – names of people who were not in the defence forces but who died during or as a result of war

  • Nominal rolls

  • Conflicts before World War I

  • World War I Embarkation Roll – recorded as defence persons left for overseas

  • World War I Nominal Roll – recorded when service persons received repatriation assistance

  • Honours and awards – details of military honours

  • Honours and awards – details of recommendations

  • Red Cross wounded and missing

  • Prisoners of war

  • Australian Naval Force 1903 to 1911

Where can I find women's land army records?

Where do I find information on the Kokoda Trail?




Other Resources

These other resources provide information about men and women who served in the Australian armed forces. 

Poppy Wall

The Office of Australian War Graves

Students on Campus

AIF Project

Veterans with Flowers

DVA's Nominal Rolls

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