• A demonstration to acknowledge the Frontier Wars held outside the Australian War Memorial. (NITV News )Source: NITV News
Indigenous servicemen and women, as well as the lives taken in the Frontier Wars, are being remembered across the country on Anzac Day.
NITV Staff Writer

25 Apr 2018 - 8:32 AM  UPDATED 25 Apr 2018 - 5:26 PM

A number of events around the country are being held to honour the war service of Indigenous Australians, as well as to remember the Frontier Wars.

Following the national ceremony in Canberra, around 100 people marched to the Australian War Memorial calling for the Frontier Wars to be recognised as Australian war history.

In Redfern, mob gathered to remember the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who fought in wars on both Australian soil and abroad, but did not receive recognition upon their return.

They marched from the Block to Redfern Park, where federal politicians Julie Bishop, Linda Burney, and Tanya Plibersek laid wreaths.

Former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda told NITV the Black Diggers represent reconciliation, because they fought alongside non-Indigenous soldiers as equals.

“A lot of people who were in the armed forces actually became advocates for Aboriginal people because they were upset when they fought together on frontlines and then come back to Australia and weren’t allowed in pubs. So I think that’s almost the ultimate form of reconciliation.”

He also said he is expecting institutional recognition, such as by the Australian War Memorial, of the Frontier Wars to take place at some point.

"We must recognise the Frontier Wars that happened in this country... and I believe one day we will."

The Black/Coloured Diggers March in Redfern started in 2007 and this year it was organised by the Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group.

Earlier a joint Haka and Corroboree performance commemorated Anzac Day in Perth.

More than 10,000 people stayed around after the dawn service at Kings Park to watch the Maori and Aboriginal dancers, which was also raising awareness about men’s mental health issues.

Elders who spoke before the performance said they hoped this would help decolonise Australia. 

“Many of our people went away to war, some of them never come home. The trauma of that - that impacted on family, friends and community - has been very big. It just goes on from one generation to the next,” Aunty Don Henry said. 

One dawn service, at Mount Ainslie in Canberra, was a dedicated commemoration of Indigenous Australians.

This year the national celebrations have a special focus on service women, with female veterans leading Anzac Day marches.

"It's very special to have women recognised this year,"  Tara Enchong, a Torres Strait Islander woman from Erub and Mer Island, told NITV in Canberra. 

"There's a lot of strong Indigenous women and to be following in their footsteps, they've paved an amazing way forward for us that we don't always take time to acknowledge."

In Adelaide, Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) staged a sideline demonstration to the Anzac Day march.

Protesters held a banner saying: 'The first war in "Australia" was in 1788. Frontier wars, genocide, massacres, murder. Lest We Forget.'

The group posted a video to their Facebook page showing police ordering them to take down the banner, telling them they would be arrested if they did not comply, and saying it was for their own safety.

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