Honouring a century of Indigenous service

A NEW plaque has been unveiled at Anzac Park in honour of members of the local Indigenous community who have served with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) during the past 100-years.

Unveiled as part of NAIDOC week – which celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – the plaque project was a collaboration between the Lindisfarne RSL, Clarence City Council and local Indigenous group, the Lia Pootah community.

During the unveiling event on Friday 7 July, Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman acknowledged the long service given by Indigenous members of the community.

This ranged from serving as experienced trackers during the Boer campaigns in South Africa, World War I, War War II and Vietnam to the modern day campaigns throughout the middle-east.

Mayor Chipman commented on the fact that the service given by members of Indigenous communities were often not recognised.

Lindisfarne RSL president Chris Parker said the purpose of the plaque was to raise the profile and recognition of their service.

“The dedication service was well attended with Speaker of the House of Assembly Elise Archer and Labor Leader Rebecca White making an appearance,” he said.

“Also in attendance were representatives of the three armed services, who spoke about the contributions Indigenous service men and women have given and still continue to give to the ADF.

“Major Peter Rowe also spoke of the increasing number of younger members of the ADF across all three services who identify as part of the Indigenous community.”

Caption: Major Peter Rowe, right, with smoker uncle Leslie Dick and his son at the plaque unveiling, which was held in honour of NAIDOC week in early July.