Indigenous Veterans' Ceremony

29 May 2021

Honouring our indigenous service people, past and present

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have served in every war and conflict since the Boer War, despite being legally excluded from military service until 1949. Because they used false names and backgrounds, it is impossible to know exactly how many signed up despite the legislation, although it is estimated that about 1,000 Indigenous Australians served in World War I.

Indigenous service people experienced less discrimination in the military than in wider Australian society. There was little room for racism on the battlefield; what mattered was courage, mateship and teamwork.

But although they fought – and sometimes died – shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Australians, they returned home to a country that still refused to acknowledge them as citizens and denied them the recognition and entitlements they had earned.

Nothing we do now can change the past. But the Indigenous Veterans’ Ceremony aims to recognise the invaluable contribution of our Indigenous service people to Australia’s Defence Force, both past and present.

Join us at the Brisbane event

Where: Shrine of Remembrance Ann St Brisbane

Date: 29th May

Time: 11am

Please do not attend this event if you are feeling unwell or have flu-like symptoms.

Join us by watching the ceremony online

For those of us unable to physically gather at the Shrine of Remembrance, a virtual commemoration will take place to honour a group of people whose service and sacrifice is often overlooked in the telling of Australia’s military history.

Join us on Facebook here at 11am on Saturday 29 May.