- Descendants of Aboriginal veterans help launch Armistice film program
- More than 6,000 WA servicemen and women died during World War One
The descendants of Aboriginal soldiers from WA who served in World War One today joined Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley to launch a series of short films that will air on public screens in and around Perth's cultural centre from today until Sunday November 11, 2018.
The film series, showcasing the roles of women and Aboriginal servicemen and also highlighting the sacrifice of the 6,000 WA servicemen who died in the conflict, will screen at the Yagan Square Digital Tower, the Northbridge Piazza Superscreen and at the Perth Cultural Centre Big Screen.
The films were commissioned by the Department of Communities as part of activities across the State to commemorate and celebrate the Centenary of the Armistice that ended World War One on November 11, 1918.
First World War offers a general snapshot of Australia's involvement by using a moving series of photographs that depict the reality of life at the front.
The Service of Western Australian Women at Home and Overseas is dedicated to the 3,000 Australian nurses who volunteered for service, of which 2,000 served abroad in appalling conditions. At least four WA nurses lost their lives while serving overseas during the war.
Aboriginal Service in the First World War was developed in collaboration with Aboriginal History WA. The story of four brothers from WA, Larry, Lewis, Kenneth and Augustus Farmer, are highlighted in the film. At least 133 Aboriginal men from WA volunteered to serve during World War One - with 83 serving overseas.
A fourth film, Roll of Honour, offers a moving tribute to the 6,000 soldiers from WA who died in World War One and will screen on Remembrance Day - November 11, 2018.
A scrolling tribute of names from the State War Memorial will also feature on the three big screens following the minute of silence on Remembrance Day.
Comments attributed to Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley:
"I am very pleased that Tony and John Farmer (grandsons of Kenneth Farmer), Tod Farmer (great-grandson of Kenneth Farmer) and Karen Sayers (grand-daughter Frederick Lesley Sayers) could join me today to recognise and honour the contribution of Aboriginal servicemen during World War One.
"When this horrific global conflict erupted in 1914, many WA men, motivated by patriotism and a sense of adventure, rushed to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force.
"More than 330,000 Australians embarked for service overseas including 32,000 from WA. By the end of the war in 1918, 60,000 Australians had been killed or died from wounds or disease. More than 6,000 of these were from WA.
"This poignant series of films offer an important insight into life for Australian servicemen and women and the harsh reality of life on the front.
"Australian women were an integral part of the war effort. It's fitting we recognise their selfless contributions and sacrifice. Similarly, the contributions of Aboriginal servicemen are another significant part of WA's history.
"The unfair treatment of Aboriginal soldiers on returning home from war still resonates today and challenges us all to step up for a more equitable and just society.
"I urge all Western Australians to visit Yagan Square, Northbridge Piazza and the Perth Cultural Centre during this short film program and take the opportunity to view these films and reflect on our shared history and heritage."
Minister's office - 6552 5300