Michael Kelly has worked at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) since 2004. He has worked as an assistant curator in Military Heraldry and Technology and worked on the redevelopment of the Second World War galleries in 2009. Later, as a member of the Exhibitions team, he worked on the redevelopment of the First World War Galleries which opened in 2014. In recent years Michael has curated exhibitions for major Korean War and Vietnam War anniversaries.
Since 2013, Michael has been working in the Military History Section as a post-1945 conflicts historian, specialising in Australia’s involvement in the Korean War. His other areas of primary interest are the Malayan Emergency, Indonesian Confrontation, and the Vietnam War. He also has research interests in the Gallipoli campaign, the Sinai–Palestine campaign and Allied airborne operations during the Second World War.
He manages and contributes regularly to the Memorial’s quarterly magazine Wartime on a diverse range of subjects covering the First and Second World Wars and Post 1945 conflicts including the Korean War. Michael has co-edited with John Blaxland and Liam Brewin-Higgins, In From the Cold: Reflections on Australia’s Korean War published by ANU Press (2020).
Michael’s research has taken him to the battlefields of Gallipoli, the Western Front, Normandy, Holland and Vietnam as well as archives in Britain and the United States. He was a recipient of an Australian Army History Research Grant in 2015.
In 2012 Michael was part of a joint Australian War Memorial – Imperial War Museum study tour to Gallipoli and since 2014 he has led battlefield tours on behalf of Boronia Travel Centre to Gallipoli, the Western Front, Israel and Vietnam. Michael enjoys sharing his passion for Australian military history with like-minded travellers.