In 1993 over 10,000 people lined the streets of Melbourne to pay their last respects to an 86 year old man, Ernest Edward Dunlop.

There are now statues to the man in Melbourne, Canberra and Benalla (Victoria). He is obviously considered a hero by Australians. But why? What makes a ‘hero’? What did he do? What qualities did he show? Is he someone who is relevant to young people today?

These are the key questions which participants will be able to explore in this activity.


By the end of this article participants will be better able to:

  • understand aspects of Australia’s World War 2 experience;

  • analyse and evaluate evidence from the past;

  • select and synthesise evidence to create a new narrative;

  • interpret symbolism and create a new form of commemoration;

  • reflect on the way civics and citizenship values can be seen in an heroic historical figure.

Working through the activity

The activity is designed for a class, consists of 4 'investigations' to be completed in numerical sequence, and is completely self-contained within a single, 12 page Acrobat™ file (241kb).

All that needs to be done is to download the Acrobat™ file, print pages from it as required and distribute them to activity participants. The pages have provision for students to record, in writing, their comments  or answers.