Recognising our Indigenous Service Men and Women

Until now, indigenous contributions to Australia's service history have been woefully under-recognised. But we're starting to remedy that.

On Tuesday, Remembrance Day, I hosted a presentation ceremony at Town Hall to honour and thank oral historian Fabri Blackclock and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women who were interviewed for The Eora Journey - a collection of oral histories which will form an important part of our Anzac centenary commemorations.

These oral histories reflect personal and family stories from war-time sacrifices and service. In this centenary year of the Great War, the City is committed to honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have served in conflicts and helped keep the peace, from Changi to the Battle of Long Tan, from the Solomon Islands to the Middle East, from Africa to Europe.

The audio of the interviews, along with photos and transcripts, are now accessible on the City's Oral Histories website. You can read and listen to them here: http://www.sydneyoralhistories.com.au/

The series includes an interview with Tony Albert, a Girramay man and artist who is creating a large public sculpture in Sydney's Hyde Park to memorialise the Indigenous contribution to Australia's armed forces. In his interview Tony talks about his family's connection with the Services; his training, mentors, and experiences in art; and his plans for the sculpture which will consist of large scale upright and fallen 'bullets'.

We aim to have the work completed and installed for next year's centenary of Anzac as a major component of our Eora Journey pathway through the city.

http://www.sydneyoralhistories.com.au/

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