As Australia continues to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac, it is not just our diggers whom we remember.
Australian heroes came in all different shapes, sizes… and species. Creatures great and small who contributed their strength, energy and lives to the Australian Imperial Forces and the Australian Defence Force helped to define the spirit of our great nation.
Kangaroos have been celebrated symbols of Australia for many years. As they powerfully and gracefully bounce across the Australian landscape, they embody everything that is special about our nation. Therefore, for Australians serving overseas, they have a wonderful ability to be symbols of pride and hope.
Kangaroos also touched the hearts of patriotic Australians, becoming the stars of recruitment ads which encouraged people to ‘Hop to it!’ and join the war effort.
During World War II, many kangaroos even travelled to the battlefields with soldiers, becoming mascots for a number of regiments. One special kangaroo became the star of a photograph in which he was shaking hands with an Australian soldier near the Egyptian pyramids. This was a powerful image of battlers connecting with home, and the kangaroo earned the nickname Shake.
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