Australia-wide ceremonies to honour Indigenous Veterans
For the first time, commemorative ceremonies will be held across the nation to honour the service and sacrifice of Indigenous servicemen and women, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce Billson, said today.
Mr Billson said the ceremonies will be held in each State and Territory and have been organised through consultation and cooperation with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, ex-service organisations and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
"Indigenous Australians have served our nation proudly since Federation, more than 100 years ago, in every conflict in which Australia has been involved" Mr Billson said.
"I am pleased that this year the Australian Government has been able to support the first ever Australia-wide ceremonies recognising the contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made, and continue to make, in defence of our nation.
"Reconciliation Week, which commences on Sunday 27 May, provides a timely opportunity to recognise the dedication to duty, courage and mateship of all Indigenous servicemen and women-past and present-who have served our nation in times of war and peace.
"Today Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women continue the proud history of those who have gone before them in the Australian Defence Force," he said.
Mr Billson will lay a wreath at the National Commemoration Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Sunday 27 May with the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough.
Mr Brough welcomed the first national ceremony honouring the contribution of Indigenous servicemen and women.
"Australian servicemen and women, including Indigenous Australians, have served, and continue to serve, side-by-side with courage and tenacity," Mr Brough said.
"As a nation, we are indebted to the courageous service of the men and women who continue to protect the freedoms we enjoy today, and to those that have served in the past, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.
"During National Reconciliation Week, I encourage all Australians to remember the Indigenous servicemen and women who have served, and continue to serve, our nation proudly in times of war, conflict and peace," he said.
Editor’s note: Commemoration ceremonies honouring Indigenous servicemen and women will be held in each State and Territory during Reconciliation Week as follows:
|National ceremony||Sunday 27 May||8:30am||Australian War Memorial, Western Courtyard|
|Cairns ceremony||Sunday 27 May||10:00am||Cairns Cenotaph, The Esplanade|
|Hobart ceremony||Sunday 27 May||11:00am||Hobart Cenotaph|
|Adelaide ceremony||Sunday 27 May||9:00am||State National War Memorial, North tce Adelaide|
|Brisbane ceremony||Monday 28 May||11:00am||Brisbane Cenotaph|
|Townsville ceremony||Wednesday 30 May||10:00am||Townsville Cenotaph, Anzac Park|
|Perth ceremony||Wednesday 30 May||10:00am||State War Memorial, Kings Park|
|Melbourne ceremony||Thursday 31 May||11:00am||Shrine of Remembrance|
|Sydney ceremony||Thursday 31 May||11:00am||Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park|
|Darwin ceremony||Friday 1 June||5:30pm||Darwin Cenotaph|