This year, Western Sydney University and the Australian War Memorial are correcting the record with the documentary, ‘Too Dark to See’.
But the project is not just a film - it also includes a photographic exhibition and a commemorative book, published in time for Remembrance Day. The works celebrate Indigenous soldiers by recounting their personal stories.
Melissa Williams from Western Sydney University’s Office of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Employment & Engagement, told NITV the film “is to commemorate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and really to honour their contribution.”
The film features war veteran, uncle Cliff Daylight. He explains, “Aboriginal people have fought the boar war, malaysian conflicts, first and second world war, Vietnam. Aboriginal people have always served ... and they've always put their hand up to serve.”
They put their lives on the line despite not even being considered Australian citizens.
The documentary addresses everything from racism to comradery, as well as the highs and lows of serving in the Australian Defence Force.
Veteran John Kinsela recalls, “military people in World War I were selected by doctors’ recommendation that they were actually white enough to go in the military.”
Melissa Williams believes the film is about humanity.
"Through a checkered timeline and despite all the obstacles, despite being shunned, abused, forgotten and ignored, they still put on the uniform, and still continued to serve country,” she says.
Through the film, war veteran uncle Charlie Mundine shares with the audience the integrity of his core values.
“You don't run out and die for your country. It's about how you try and make the country bigger.”