First formal recognition of First Nations people in the Australian Defence Force

Anzac Day 2017

Video of a moving cenotaph of frontier conflicts It is now reassuring that the Anzac Day March in Canberra has accepted the fact that the Frontier Wars commemorations are now acknowledged and we are advised that War Memorial officials and police will not obstruct us on this day in future. I also acknowledge that we are not yet part of the formalities of the Anzac Day March itself, but there is a reassuring factor that gives us heart to believe that the day will soon arrive when the Frontier Wars Commemorative March will be accepted.


This assurance is based on the fact that for the first time in history Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diggers were acknowledged in the formal procession and what was encouraging is that an Elder carried an Aboriginal Land Rights flag at the beginning of the March and Defence Force men and women in uniform also carried the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and the Australian flags side by side as part of the formal march. This is very significant.


Interestingly enough with the Diggers March being in the front four units and the Commemorative Frontier War March at the end, symbolically, like the Kangaroo and Emu on the Australian Trademark/ “Coat of Arms” we had the whole of the colonial Defence Force wedged between us.


People should never forget the sacrifices of anyone who fights for their freedom. It is a right. It is a human obligation. It is a sacred duty to defend ourselves from tyrannical rule and oppression.


What now surprises the public when they see the Frontier Wars Commemorative March and over 50 metres of yellow fabric, listing over 1,000 recorded conflicts, is that they don’t see a protest, but instead they see a moving cenotaph, which remembers many of those places where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been killed, poisoned and have also died as a result of germ warfare, when Governor Phillip’s crew released smallpox at Balmoral Beach, Sydney. This lead to historical accounts of the new comers finding hundreds of Aboriginal people dead and their bodies scarred with smallpox.  


This Frontier Wars Commemorative March is our way of saying our Old People, who died defending their lands and freedoms, must also be remembered. Moreover, we ask the Returned Services Leagues, the War Memorial personnel and the public to communicate with us to commence a process of formally burying our dead, rather than continuing to have cattle, sheep and mining company vehicles drive over the bones of our murdered ancestors as they do on a daily basis. We remember our Old People, we want everyone to else to remember them as well. Their lives at the time were just as important as ours now.


Ghillar, Michael Anderson

Convenor of Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic, last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy,     0499 080 660  

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