Coloured Diggers ANZAC Day Service

(1.45pm, Friday 25 April 2014, Redfern Community Centre)

Thank you, Mark [Spinks]. Good afternoon, everyone.

I would also like to acknowledge Her Excellency the Governor, Marie Bashir, and Sir Nicholas Shehadie; the Hon Tanya Plibersek, the Federal Member for Sydney; the Hon Victor Dominello, the many other very distinguished guests and of course, Pastor Ray Minniecon.

The City of Sydney is proud to support this eighth Coloured Diggers' march - a march where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women no longer are placed at the end of the line but are accorded the dignity and respect they have so richly earned.

This year we commemorate in particular those who did not return from war, men like Cyril Brockman, Bill Lawson and Vivian Maynard all of whom died in Changi; or those like George Cubby from Toomelah who suffered as a PoW in Malaya.

They, and their comrades, will all be remembered at the Coloured Diggers' Memorial the City will have erected in Hyde Park in time for next year's Anzac Centenary.

After an extensive assessment of proposals from about 30 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the powerful scheme put forward by Tony Albert was chosen in collaboration with architects Cracknell Lonergan.

Tony is here today and is happy to talk anyone who would like to learn more about his proposal.

I would also like to thank Pastor Ray Minniecon and the organisers of the Coloured Diggers' march for quietly and persistently ensuring that Sydney, and Australia, does not forget what we all owe to those Aboriginal and TSI people who have served our country in every conflict since the Boer War.

We are proud to have worked with him to bring Tony's memorial into being as the first major project in our Eora Journey of recognition.