Commemorating our warriors – all of them

NAIDOC Week sees two important articles about the need to comprehensively commemorate all who have shed blood for their country. Paul Daley writes in the Guardian Australia that it is ‘inconsistent to celebrate Indigenous Australians’ service in Imperial armies while ignoring the frontier wars’. Like others before him, Daley notes the reluctance of the Australian War Memorial to move in this direction. An earlier article by Daley on the same theme.

Meanwhile, at The Drum, former serving pilot and historian of the RAAF, Alan Stephens, says the Memorial’s ‘refusal to acknowledge the Frontier Wars between Indigenous Australians and white settlers is historically dishonest and is holding back reconciliation’. At the time of writing, 177 people had commented on this article in less than 24 hours.

Paul Daley noted the efforts of the organisers of NAIDOC Week to recognise both the Frontier Wars and service by Indigenous Australians in uniform. Honest History marks NAIDOC Week with a note and comment by David Stephens. Stephens wonders whether the subtlety of NAIDOC’s message detracts from its impact.

8 July 2014

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