How symbolic and pertinent that NAIDOC Week 2020 has been re-scheduled to coincide with Remembrance Day.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have served in every conflict and commitment involving Australian defence contingents since Federation, including both world wars and the intervals of peace since the Second World War.
Many Indigenous Australians served overseas during World War I. At first, racist regulations prevented them from joining the army. Restrictions were relaxed in 1917 because the British Empire needed reinforcements.
It is impossible to determine the exact number of Indigenous individuals who participated in each conflict, and this research is ongoing. New names are constantly emerging, while some have been removed after research identified them as non-Indigenous.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we commemorated the 102nd anniversary since the guns on the Western Front fell silent, reflecting on the significance of that event. We also paused to remember all the men and women of the Australian Defence Force who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
We will remember them. Lest we forget.
Maria Lambos - Principal