10th anniversary of Indigenous war memorial

ADF members from the Adelaide region have joined with members of the Indigenous and veteran’s community and the broader Adelaide community to mark the 10th anniversary of the unveiling of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial in Adelaide.

CAPTIONA soldier rests on arms during a service marking the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial in Adelaide. Story by Pilot Officer Shanea Zeegers . Photo by Sergeant Nicci Freeman.

Located on the land of the Kaurna people in the Torres Parade Ground precinct among other key war memorials adjacent to the River Torrens (Karrawirra Pari-ityangka – ‘in the vicinity of the red forest gum river’), the war memorial recognises and commemorates the service and sacrifice of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have served Australia.

Unveiled on the 10th November 2013, the memorial was dedicated by then Governor-General Quentin Bryce and was the culmination of a long project to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women in Adelaide.

The 10th anniversary service, organised by Aboriginal Veterans SA, featured an address by Ngaire Jarro, a Bidjara/Birri Gubba daughter of World War 2 Aboriginal soldier and co-author of Jack of Hearts QX11594.

Ngaire said her father’s story contributed to educating people on the torment that occurred during World War 2.

CAPTIONInvited guests prepare to lay tributes at the service at Torrens Parade Ground in Adelaide. Photo by Aircraftwoman Halley Van Essen.

 “My father was 1 of 4000 Indigenous soldiers who were captured in Singapore, who became a prisoner of war on the notorious Thai/Burma Railway, who suffered the outcomes during these times.” Ms Jarro said.

Thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander soldiers, aviators and sailors fought in Australia’s defence forces, serving in conflict and peacekeeping missions. The service was supported by ADF personnel including a chaplain and an ADF catafalque party.

Flying Officer Jason Enchong, a Torres Strait Islander who recently transferred from the Army to the Air Force and is now in his first posting as the RAAF Edinburgh Indigenous Liaison Officer, recited the Ode at the 10th anniversary service.

He follows in the footsteps of his father, Warrant Officer Michael Enchong, and his sister, Corporal Tara Enchong, who presented the keynote address at the war memorial in a 2016 service.

The ADF community across Adelaide has built strong relationships with the Kaurna people and the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.


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