It was with great pride that Reconciliation SA participated in the official dedication of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial at the Torrens Parade Ground on Sunday November 10. Around a thousand people gathered to watch Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Ms Marj Tripp, Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee, officially dedicate the Memorial to the thousands of Indigenous men and women who have served their country from the Boer War to the present day.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans from as early as WW2 looked on as Mr Frank Lampard OAM, Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee spoke of the significance of the memorial. "In 2010, they recorded that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of Australia have come to view 'ANZAC' as a party to which they have not been invited," he said. "Well, I'm proud to say that lack of recognition ends today."
These sentiments of recognition were shared by the Honourable Jay Weatherill MP, Premier of South Australia, who spoke at the event along with Senator Simon Birmingham, who delivered a message on behalf of the Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia.
The beautiful War Memorial was designed and created by Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin, Tony Rosella, Michelle Nikou, Robert Hannaford and Tim Johnson.
There was barely a dry eye in the crowd as Vonda Last performed her song For Love Of Country. The track was inspired by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who served their country, and in many cases sacrificed their lives, in a time when they weren't even recognised by the Government as citizens of Australia.
If you would like a copy of Vonda Last's For Love Of Country, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.