Australia’s first State war memorial for indigenous Australians was dedicated at a ceremony in Kings Park today.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Kim Hames said the memorial recognised the sacrifice made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who had helped make Australia the country it was today.
“The memorial will perform a dual role,” Dr Hames said.
“Primarily, it honours the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who gave their lives in the service of their country in times of conflict.
“It also serves as a constant reminder to all Western Australians that indigenous people stood up to be counted when their country needed them.
“They were in the Australian forces during the Boer War and since then they have served with distinction in every conflict or action involving Australia.
“Although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans will still continue to stand alongside their former comrades-in-arms at the main War Memorial in Kings Park, they now also have a gathering place to especially remember the ultimate sacrifice made by indigenous people.”
Dr Hames said the State Government was proud to be associated with the memorial, which was funded and organised by the Aboriginal Affairs Department.
He also acknowledged the commitment by the Botanic Parks and Gardens Authority, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans and Services Association and the Returned Services League, which had made the memorial possible.
Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes said the Botanic Parks and Gardens Authority had been pleased to be involved in the creation of such an important memorial.
“The fact that the memorial is in one of the most beautiful parts of Kings Park, overlooking Matilda Bay to South Perth, demonstrates how highly the authority rates this memorial,” Mrs Edwardes said.
“I am sure this will become a popular meeting place for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike.”
Sandy Gater on 9424 7455
AAD: Ken Suttie on 9235 8067