Indigenous Veterans Ceremony held at Kings Park State War Memorial

Indigenous Veterans Ceremony at Kings Park State War Memorial. Pictures: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d482243
Indigenous Veterans Ceremony at Kings Park State War Memorial. Pictures: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d482243

A REMEMBRANCE service for Indigenous war veterans was held today at the State War Memorial in Kings Park.

About 500 Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders enlisted in the World War I Australian campaign, despite a ban on non-European servicemen, and an estimated 3000 Indigenous Australians served in World War II.

Indigenous Australians have contributed to almost every conflict and peacekeeping mission involving Australia since the start of the last century, according to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans and Services Association (WA) organises the commemorative tribute every year as part of National Reconciliation Week.

Uncle Mort Hansen performs a smoking ceremony with traditional dancers from Wesley College, Indigenous Veterans Ceremony at Kings Park State War Memorial.

Relatives of former servicemen and women wear family medals in the pre-ceremony march to walk alongside current and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Forces.

National Reconciliation Week started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation supported by Australia’s major faith communities and in 1996, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation held the first National Reconciliation Week.

Governor Kim Beazley lays a wreath at the Indigenous Veterans Ceremony at Kings Park State War Memorial.

Four years later, Reconciliation Australia formed to continue national leadership on reconciliation.

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