THE south-west, but particularly its indigenous community, holds a significant place in Australia’s wartime history, with the late Reg Saunders MBE among the notable contributors to the country’s efforts.
Now, Indigenous Australia’s wartime efforts, including those from the Western District, are being recognised in the Shrine of Remembrance’s touring exhibition, Indigenous Australians at War.
Indigenous Australians have served Australia in all major conflicts from the Boer War to the present.
In this exhibition the Shrine of Remembrance celebrates the courage, tenacity and resourcefulness of Indigenous Australians in the armed forces – both as modern warriors and as the practitioners of traditional survival and tracking skills.
The opportunity to serve in Australia’s armed forces gave many the experience of liberation from racial stereotypes for the first time.
Oral histories reveal that while racism might emerge behind the lines, when serving at the front line, all were alike in their concerns to survive and consider one another.
Full story in the Spectator on Thursday, March 7, 2013