National Reconciliation Week



Celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture on campus

To mark this year’s National Reconciliation Week from the 27 May – 3 June 2014, we transformed our campus into an interactive canvas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture for a week long celebration of culture and creativity.

Gallery

Wartime Legends - Aborignal and Torres Strait Islander Recognition

On ANZAC Day 2007, Aboriginal people decided to draw attention to their history and organised Australia’s first Coloured Diggers March on Anzac Day (25th April 2007) in Redfern, Sydney, with hundreds of Indigenous veterans and their descendants marching along Redfern Street to St Saviour’s church in Sydney’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anzac Day parade.

Critics asked why Aboriginal people needed their own march when they could have participated in the main Anzac march. Due to the past lack of acknowledgement, a Coloured Diggers March was thought to be a good vehicle to make the general population aware of the merits of Indigenous war veterans. What they need most is honour, recognition and respect.

“There is a whole range of stories of national significance about Indigenous veterans which have not been previously told, let alone fed into the school or public domain,” explains Uncle Harry Allie. “Honouring the service contribution of Indigenous Australians to the nation is a vital part of the reconciliation process and will feed into new and richer understandings about Australian identity and history.”

Babana Mens Group Redfern have been instrumental in getting the Coloured Diggers project off the ground and we acknowledge their input and support in the community.

David Pross, Babana Men’s representative for Anzac Black Diggers, will be speaking on Wednesday 28th May at the Wartime Legends Light Show with his story and quest for recognition.

For more information about Babana Men’s Group, visit babana.org.au.

For more information about the Coloured Digger Project, please email

Photo credits

1. Djuki Mala (Chooky Dancers) 2013. Photo by Wayne Quilliam.

Wartime legends light show

Many thanks to the Australian War Memorial, Kirsten Thorpe - Coordinator of the Indigenous Unit at the State Library of New South Wales, Melissa Williams- Director of the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Engagement and Belinda Mason - Photographer.
Your help in sourcing images for this show has been invaluable.

Photo credits:
Portrait Series from the 'Generations of Knowledge' Project as conceived and commissioned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders on Campus, University of Western Sydney from B Mason, Photographer.