Aboriginal Elder Katrina Ngaitlyala Power has defended the contents of an Anzac Day speech she delivered in Adelaide yesterday referencing slavery and invasion.
Speaking at a dawn service before a crowd of 5000 at the National War Memorial Ms Power said the land of her people had been stolen, her great grandfather were returned to "slavery" after fighting in WWI and changed parts of Psalm 23 to include the line “walk through the valley of invasion”.
People were quick to complain on social media and to News Corporation outlets.
Former army reservist Bill McLaughlin said while some of the content was appropriate, some elements were too politicised for what is a solemn moment of remembrance.
“I applauded what she said that black and white fought and died together, but when she said we invaded and took everything away and gave nothing back, it had nothing to do with Anzac Day,” he told the Adelaide Advertiser.
“She was making a political statement."
Ms Power told the newspaper she was not trying to be provocative with her speech.
“It wasn’t my intention to upset anyone and I apologise if I did.”
“I want us to move forward together in reconciliation but you can only do that with truth telling.”
The head of the South Australian RSL, Ian Smith, said he did not believe the speech was politicised or inappropriate.
“I can see that some people with Christian backgrounds might get upset about that,” he told the Advertiser.
“But otherwise the things she’s talking about are factual things and we need them on the record so we can move forward together.”