The New South Wales Government is calling for the sacrifice of black diggers to be commemorated during this year's World War One centenary.
Myles Morgan

5 Mar 2014 - 4:25 PM  UPDATED 6 Mar 2014 - 8:22 AM

This year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the First World War, a war in which hundreds of Indigenous Australians served.

President of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Association, David Williams says when his uncle returned from serving in Korea, doors were closed in his face because he was Aboriginal.

Over the decades, Indigenous veterans came home from war to face the same discrimination they left behind.

“One, you're a blackfella. Two, you've got these civil laws which prevent you from achieving what the army, navy or the air force expected of you,” said Mr Williams.

Those laws prevented Indigenous diggers from voting, receiving veteran's benefits and marching on ANZAC day.

The New South Wales Government is encouraging schools, businesses and other government bodies to acknowledge the service of Aboriginal veterans through its 'Wartime Legends' campaign.

The former Chief of Army is in support of the campaign and also pushing for special recognition of Indigenous diggers.

“It was in many ways a secret service because as you probably know many Aboriginals weren't allowed to declare their Aboriginality to enlist in the Australian Army way back in those days,” said Mr Ken Gillespie.