.

By Kath Gannaway

The contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women to the defence of Australia was honoured on Thursday, 31 May, with the 2018 Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service at The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

The service is organised each year by the Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Committee (VARC).

In a moving ceremony whose beginnings started in 2006 when Auntie Dot Peters and then president of Healesville RSL, Sam Halim, initiated the first remembrance service, the service this year particularly paid tribute to Australia’s WWI Indigenous soldiers.

In the centenary era of WWI, a history of Aboriginal participation, and loss, was presented stating that around 900 Aboriginal Australians served in WWI, including 80 Victorian Aboriginal men.

At least 11 Victorian Aboriginal soldiers were killed in action, or fatally wounded.

Guest speaker was Ricky Morris, a former sergeant of the Australian Army, is a Gunditjmara man who served in Afghanistan and East Timor.

A descendent of warriors and soldiers, who has the distinction of having had more family members on active service in the military than any other Australian family.

The commemoration included a performance by the Worawa Aboriginal College choral group, a welcome by Auntie Dot as chair of the Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Committee and an address by Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Natalie Hutchins MP.

Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place Choir was supported by Lilydale High School Vocal Ensemble and Casey Grammar School Choir in singing ‘We Are One’.

Mr Halim, who is also President of Healesville Rotary, and a founding member of the VARC, also spoke.

He said there was some opposition initially to having a day dedicated to Aboriginal service men and woman.

“Some said ‘we have Anzac Day’, but it has been growing every year and spread to every state in Australia, and it’s been acknowledged that Auntie Dot and myself started it in 2006 from Healesville,” Mr Halim said.

He said it was important to say to the world that Healesville started something that changed history.

“We are hoping now that it continues to gain momentum and that all RSLs and other organisations will come on board.”

Comments are closed.

More News

 Mountain vistas, forest trails, vineyards and farms with emus, llamas, cows and sheep, are just some of the breathtaking ...

Three hundred and fifty million years ago, two little fishes were swimming happily in the area where Mansfield quarry now ...

“Every woman in this group understands how precious and beneficial these hand crafted gifts are.” The fourth Fiddle Rug Exhibition ...

The proposed Warburton Community Precinct is moving towards reality with design work completed and tendering ready to start. In August ...

When Bailey Goodwin was born at 26 weeks he weighed 702 grams and within two days needed major bowel surgery. He then ...

 The annual Shedfest Wine Festival returned in stunning sunshine on 13 and 14 October. For the 17th time, the event proudly ...

Latest Sport

Yarra Valley Cricket Association (YVCA) Round 1 13 October Brilliant condition greeted cricketers across the Yarra Valley in their return to a ...

Warburton Bowls Club 1 played Ringwood 1 at home in beautiful bowling conditions. They recorded a confidence-boosting victory with everyone contributing, 75 to 66. ...

The course is giving up many metres to every well-hit shot, so Warburton Golf Club scores are improving every week. ...