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RSL NSW

Indigneous Veterans Commemoration Service

Where
Anzac Memorial
Anzac Memorial
Southern end of Hyde Park, Sydney NSW 2000
When

Friday 26 May from 10:40am to 12pm

The ceremony continues to gather momentum since its inception in 2007, in uniting Australians to remember and honour the service and sacrifice of indigenous veterans during Reconciliation Week. The exceptional guest speakers and their remarkable stories continue to inspire our youth, indigenous and non-indigenous alike.

Since the Boer War, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have fought for Australia. It is known at present that at least 1000 First Nation peoples served in the First World War. Of these, 13 are known to have been killed in action fighting at Gallipoli, five of which have no known graves.

After the First World War, Indigenous veterans found their war service did not bring an end to discrimination. It is estimated 3,000 Indigenous Australians served in the Second World War, and in proportion to population, no community in Australia contributed more to the war effort than the Torres Strait Islander people. Around 745 of these joined the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion formed specifically to defend the Torres Strait.

The number of Indigenous Australians who served in the First and Second World Wars vary greatly. As ethnicity was not noted on enlistment documents an accurate figure will never be known, it has been suggested that more than 3,500 Indigenous Australians served in these conflicts.

Indigenous Australians went on to serve in Korea, Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam in the years after the Second World War. Since Vietnam, Indigenous Australians have served with the Australian Defence Force in conflicts and other operations around the world.

And today Aboriginal and Torres Strait men and women are proudly serving in all branches of the Australian Defence Force.

The service is open to the public, with general public viewing areas available around the Pool of Reflection. The service will also be livestreamed on the RSL NSW Facebook page.

Contact event organiser

RSL NSW

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