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Aboriginals in war: Issues
Issues highlighted by the participation of Aboriginals in war

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Disadvantage and lack of equality
Recognition of service
Frontier war

Attitudes to Aboriginals at the start of WW1
Disadvantage and lack of equality

Lest we forget about indigenous disadvantage (Sydney Morning Herald, 22 April 2010)
"Indigenous disadvantage remains a problem for Australia despite the national apology..."

Our shameful past: Australian Anzacs who were treated like second class citizens upon their return
( 25 Apr 2017
Aboriginals enjoyed being treated as equals when they fought as soldiers during World War 1, but this equality did not continue upon their return home. (Note that the headline of this news item should use the word "Anzacs" instead of "ANZAC's".)

Indigenous Diggers  (archived from
Archived transcript from the ABC program George Negus Tonight, broadcast 5 June 2004. "In this story we hear the stories of indigenous Australian soldiers the forgotten diggers and hear what it was like to go to war as a black Australian and how this experience led them to agitate for rights at home."

Indigenous Diggers (
Draws attention to the performance equality of Aboriginal soldiers who served at Gallipoli but notes their unequal treatment when they returned to Australia. Also comments on the difficulty in estimating the number who took part.

Aboriginal diggers and the battle for equality (archived from
Opinion contribution to the ABC's Drum website, by Dr Noah Riseman. (25 April 2012)


Recognition of service

Indigenous Anzacs need recognition and closure (, 22 April 2010 in
Site temporarily unavailable 2 Apr 2019.
"Aboriginal people have represented Australia in every single conflict since the Boer War, but they have been rarely recognised and celebrated..."

Recognising the Aboriginal Diggers the Country Forgot (archived from
ABC Stateline WA, 25 April 2008
Transcript of television program. "As thousands lined the street to watch today's Anzac Day parade, there was one small group marching to remember diggers who have been forgotten by this country. Hundreds of Aboriginal veterans are buried without military recognition..."

The battle for recognition not yet won (The Standard, Victoria, 11 November 2009)
Attempt to have the contributions of some Aboriginal soldiers recognised. At least 65 Victorian Aboriginals volunteered for World War 1.


Frontier war

'Mounted Police and Blacks' by Godfrey Charles Mundy, depicting the killing of Aboriginals at Slaughterhouse Creek by British troops

Why does the Australian War Memorial ignore the frontier war? (archived from
Should the battles between Australian Aboriginals and early settlers, police and colonial military forces be featured in the displays at the Australian War Memorial? (Archived version of The Guardian, 12 Sep 2013.)

See also:

Appin Massacre (, 17 Sep 2013)

Dr Brendan Nelson (Director, Australian War Memorial), National Press Club Address, 18 Sep 2013. Scroll down a little more than half way for the question from Michael Brissendon commencing "Dr Nelson, just a reflection..."

Our Anzac Day issues page: Should an Aboriginal Frontier Wars group participates in an Anzac Day march?


Forever Warriors

Book shines light on Indigenous soldiers (ABC Stateline WA)
Broadcast 22 October 2010. Online video of TV report about "Forever Warriors", a new book on Western Australia's Aboriginal soldiers by Jan "Kabarli" James.
"Pays tribute to the sacrifices of Aboriginal soldiers who fought for Australia only to return home to racism and discrimination."  Online video expires 20 January 2011.

A light is shone on Aboriginal soldiers' service (
29 October 2010.

Bibliographical details of Forever Warriors: Trove (National Library of Australia).

More information on Forever Warriors: Honouring Indigenous War Graves Inc
. (Scroll to bottom of page.)



See also

Aboriginals and war
Aboriginals in World War 1
Aboriginals in World War 2
Aboriginal women and war
Anzac spirit and legend
Anzac Day Issues




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