There's one fact that can't be denied. The largest single collection of Victoria Crosses is housed in the Australian War Memorial in Australia's Capital, Canberra. I believe that may be somewhat of an indication of the bravery, if nothing else of the members of the Australian Defence Forces.
There's a problem with your reply as well...
"I didn't get that from reading an Australian historian--in fact, i don't know that i've ever read anything by an Australian historian. "
Slightly condescending in my opinion. I suggest you visit the Australian War Memorial Website, especially the Official histories page here:
Both WW1 & WW2 histories are available for download or reading online.
Charles Bean (Official Historian for WW1) accompanied the 1st AIF during the whole of that conflict and was rarely far behind the frontline at Gallipoli or when the AIF moved to France. I don't possess a "chip on my shoulder" and since you have failed to mention where you originate from, short of stating some nonsense about a 4th dimension, you may very well possess the "chip" yourself when I observe your attitude. Therefore, I would suggest you make yourself aware of the subject before passing judgement on a topic you profess not to have knowledge of.
I have not suggested Australians have been insulted nor ignored. I do however believe the contribution my country made to the Allied military efforts in both World Wars has been possibly, undervalued or overlooked to some extent. For example the Australian Corps was the largest British Empire unit to be fielded in WW1. The 1st AIF had a total of 331,814 voluntary enlistments (It remained a 100% voluntary military force for the duration of the war) which, represented 13% of the white male population. Australia in 1916 had a population of 4,943,173. With the exception of our "cousins" in New Zealand, the AIF suffered the highest casualty rate of any Allied force, with 61,859 deaths and an overall casualty rate of 64% killed & wounded. Put simply, that represents one death and two wounded from every four serving members.
Battles from both World Wars worth examining in my humble opinion are:
Gallipoli - Although unsuccessful in achieving its objective, resulted in what is surely the greatest example of an evacuation from under the enemy's nose. Fourteen Divisions were removed from the peninsular with only two soldiers wounded during the process.
Beersheba - October 31st 1917. Often cited as the last large scale cavalry charge to be mounted in the history of modern warfare. The 4th Light Horse Brigade mounted an attack over a distance of some 6 km/3.7 mi to capture the town and initiate the ultimate defeat of Turkish and German forces in the 3rd Battle of Gaza.
Hamel - Northern France July 4th 1918. The Australian Corps launches an attack on the town of Hamel. General Sir John Monash planned an attack that he envisaged would last for a duration of 90mins. It ran over schedule by only 3 mins and captured all its objectives. Monash had trained as a civilian engineer and his operations where planned with a precision rarely seen during WW1. Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery was often seen to wear an Australian "slouch hat" during the North African campaign in WW2. He also described Monash as the best Allied General of WW1.
Tobruk - Siege commencing April 11th, 1941. It marked the first time the German Army failed to achieve its assigned objectives in WW2 or that the Blitzkreig tactics failed. The siege lasted for some 200 days. The town was eventually captured by the DAK, although not until the Australian 9th Division had been withdrawn. General Leslie Morshead, known to his troops as, "Ming the Merciless" was ordered by Wavell to hold the town for eight weeks, the 9th Division held it for 5 months. A German POW is recorded as saying the following to his Australian captors,
"I cannot understand you Australians. In Poland, France, and Belgium, once the tanks got through the soldiers took it for granted that they were beaten. But you are like demons. The tanks break through and your infantry still keep fighting."
Kokoda Track - July -> November 1942. New Guinea. Militia or CMF (Citizens Military Forces) were able to halt the Japanese Army attempt to capture Port Moresby. Again a successful campaign that marked the first time Japanese forces were halted in WW2.
I don't have a chip on my shoulder and I doubt many other Aussies do. I am however rightly proud of what the Australian Defence Forces have achieved during various conflicts. Check Vietnam as well, where we employed armour successfully against NVA units and tunnel complexes. Armour piercing tank shells were used to collapse the tunnels, reducing our exposure to having to enter these complexes.