A Naidoc Week focus on indigenous military members

War veteran Kevin Hancock.
War veteran Kevin Hancock.

Mr Hancock, a former corporal who from 1961 to 1970 put his life on the line in the Malay Peninsula, Borneo and Vietnam, said he was chuffed to have an extra tag of recognition for his war service efforts.

‘I’ve been trying for a number of years to gain a bit of extra recognition for all Aboriginals who served,’ he said. ‘I’m not after anything, I just want to be able to tell my grandchildren about the contributions made by Aboriginal people.

‘What the Cockburn Council and the different departments throughout the community are doing is great.

‘It’s great that those that have gone on to do good things for the country are being recognised.’

Cockburn’s Aboriginal community development officer Samantha Mourish said she too was excited to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders remembered, honoured and recognised.

‘Their participation only really came to light a few years ago,’ she said.

”When in the battlefield the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were treated like brothers, brothers in arms. War is the one time racism would take a back seat.’

Naidoc celebrations begin at the Cockburn Youth Centre on Friday at 6pm with a youth event. A flag raising, art display and morning tea will be held on Monday, July 7.