• Leading Aircraftsman and Kamilaroi man Michael Cumbers will be the drummer for the Australian Federation Guard at the ANZAC Commemorative Site this ANZAC Day.
It's one of the most sacred places in the world for Australian people.
By
Myles Morgan

Source:
NITV News
15 Apr 2015 - 2:59 PM  UPDATED 25 Jun 2015 - 5:05 PM

This year, Kamilaroi man Michael Cumbers will be the only Indigenous man in uniform at the ANZAC Commemorative Site, close to the shores where Australian soldiers landed 100 years before. 

"I've heard a lot of the stories about how Indigenous people went over there and fought," he said.

"They didn't have the same rights as other Australians, but they went over there and did an awesome job so it makes me proud to be able to go over there and represent Indigenous people like this."

Leading Aircraftsman Cumbers will be the drummer for the Australian Federation Guard – a tri-service unit which performs important ceremonial duties for the Australian Defence Force.

Being the drummer for the soldiers, sailors and airmen and women of the Federation Guard carries a huge responsibility. LAC Cumbers will be the beat keeping everyone in step as they march in and out of the dawn service and the ceremony at Lone Pine.

"I love to perform and being a drummer is a great way to perform but there's a lot of things I'm looking forward to: honouring the ANZACs, honouring what they did, representing the ADF," he said in Canberra ahead of his departure to Turkey later this week.

At the home of the Federation Guard in Canberra, the unit has been perfecting its marching.

"We are working on timings, we are working on the amount of steps we need to take, everything is down to the finest detail today," the 32-year-old said.

According to the Australian War Memorial, more than 1000 First Nations men fought in World War One between 1914 and 1918.

According to the Australian War Memorial, more than 1000 First Nations men fought in World War One between 1914 and 1918.

It is difficult to know exactly how many landed on the shores of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.

Still, they fought alongside Australian soldiers without the discrimination they faced back home.

On the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day, the RAAF contingent will be small, and LAC Cumber said he'd be honoured to be a part of it.

"There's not going to be many airman who can say they were actually there as an airman, in uniform, performing at Gallipoli."