Monday, September 22, 2014  
 
 
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    ANZAC Day Coloured Diggers 2009  

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'For too long the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the war efforts has not been recognised. There is very little to show Indigenous recognition at the Australian War Museum, unless you walk up a rather lonely path. David Huggonsen, a Canberra historian says 'Few Australians are aware that Aborigines have fought in every war that Australia has been involved in since the Boer War.' And Aboriginal Australia was never given the opportunity to learn of those brave men and women either. They are the 'Forgotten Heroes' of Australia. 

So, the Coloured Digger Project came about. It was formed by a small group of men and women who believe that 'Our' history should also be told. That 'Our' men and women shoud also be recognised and honoured.

Both government and private history sites state that many Aboriginal Australians who served in the wars, once they came back to Australia, were herded back onto the missions. Some had their children taken away, sopme who served were even part of the Stolen Generations themselves. And there are still those who remember being told to march at the back of the march  and not with their units in country towns.

So we will honour Indigenous fallen. We will honour those Indigenes who came back. We will honour those who fell by the wayside after they came back. We will honour them all. And 'we will remember them.' Mark Spinks in the April Babana newsletter.

Lest we forget.

     
   
    Coloured Diggers 2008  

Bronze sculpture

To complement the march a miniature bronze sculpture (under 1m sq) honouring, recognising and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and servicewomen will be exhibited on Level One, Customs House from 25 April 2008 for four weeks and will then tour other Council locations in the LGA for public comment as part of the broader Coloured Digger Project. The display of the statue seeks to generate comment on what a statue recognising the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women should look like, and to generate a broad community interest in the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through public art, plaques and memorials. This links in with the City's priority projects for 2030 including the Aboriginal Art and Cultural Plan and the Eora Journey, a cultural walk acknowledging sites of significance from the Harbour to Redfern.

 

Oral History project

An oral history project is also being undertaken in conjunction with the City's History Unit and The Coloured Digger Project. This seeks to record the stories of servicemen and women, their children and families. This project will complement the work being undertaken nationally to record the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders servicemen and women, and will commence prior to Anzac Day 2008.

 


Source: City of Sydney Council Item http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council/documents/meetings/2008/Council/120508/080512_COUNCIL_ITEM12.pdf

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a draft design

     
   
    ANZAC Day 2008 Links  
     
   
    ANZAC Day 2007 Links  
     
   
       

The Coloured Digger

He came and joined the colours, when the war god’s anvil rang,
He took up modern weapons to replace his boomerang,
He waited for no call-up, he didn’t need a push,
He came in from the stations, and the townships of the bush.
He helped when help was wanting, just because he wasn’t deaf;
He is right amongst the columns of the fighting A.I.F.
He is always there when wanted, with his Owen gun or Bren,
He is in the forward area, the place where men are men.
He proved he’s still a warrior, in action not afraid,
He faced the blasting red-hot fire from mortar and grenade;
He didn’t mind when food was low, or we were getting thin,
He didn’t growl or worry then, he’d cheer us with his grin.
He’d heard us talk democracy–, They preach it to his face–
Yet knows that in our Federal House there’s no one of his race.
He feels we push his kinsmen out, where cities do not reach,
And Parliament has yet to hear the Aborigine’s maiden speech.
One day he’ll leave the Army, then join the League he shall,
And he hope’s we’ll give a better deal to the Aboriginal.

 -Sapper Bert Beros, a non-Aboriginal soldier in WWII about Private West

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