Invaders racism and denial is formidable on Anzac Day

At this time of the year Australians reflect on the European's World Wars and to the 'Invaders' and 'Originals' who lost there lives fighting for 'their' country - or still carry the injuries.

The 'Originals' that fought in the 'Invaders Wars' received no recognition. They were not allowed in RSL clubs; not encouraged to march on Anzac Day; there were no soldier settlement blocks and there is no official memorial.

Since 1788 the 'Originals' also reflect on the biggest and longest lasting war they've encountered in their 70,000 year history: The 'Frontier Wars'..

With Australia spending 24 billion on military expenses last year, the government has no funding available for a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strat Islander war mormorial!

No sign of Aboriginal memorial

Alice Higgins City Messenger - Adelaide 20th April 2012

Aboriginal veterans will next week mark another Anzac Day without a dedicated memorial to honour their fallen comrades, despite a five-year struggle.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee chair Marj Tripp, who was the first Aboriginal woman to join the Royal Australian Navy, said the acknowledgement was long overdue.

"It has been a long, long, hard road," Ms Tripp, who is also the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee chair, said.

"One of my committee members was telling me his number came up as a conscript and he went in to sign the papers and they told him `you do not have to go because you are an Aboriginal, you are not a citizen of this country' and he said `the marble did not know that so I am going'.

"It is an opportunity for them to see that this country has finally acknowledged Aboriginal soldiers and those in the air force and the navy who did serve."

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander committee first sought permission to erect a $500,000 memorial at the Torrens Parade Ground and begin design work in 2007.

The City Messenger reported it was given City Council approval in 2009 and $225,000 in funding from the council and State and Federal governments.

But the project stalled because the committee could not attract enough money to make up for the $275,000 shortfall.

The RSL had hoped the memorial would be finished in time for Anzac Day 2010, but said this week it was still another 18 months away.

Indigenous Australians have served in every war Australia has been involved in, from the Boer War in South Africa at Federation to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is estimated about 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders served in World War I and more than 3000 in World War II.

Vietnam War veteran and RSL state president Jock Statton said the memorial, which will feature two bronze figures of an Aboriginal man and woman, would be a great acknowledgement of their role in defending Australian soil.

"They were not allowed to vote yet they were still supporting Australia," Mr Statton said.

"To have the recognition they have been involved is going to be extremely important to them."

He said the committee had appointed an appeals committee to help raise funds for the memorial.

The committee, which includes former governor Sir Eric Neal and retired Supreme Court judge Kevin Duggan, plans to host a series of fundraising events - although there were not yet any details for these events.

"It is a massive memorial and with funding the way it is, it has been hard to get any sort of funding, regardless of what it is for," Mr Statton said.

"We are confident now we have got the appeals committee that we can raise enough funds."

All is quiet in the Australian racist media, but New Zealand takes up the story of 'Australia's Hidden Wars' and the plan for 'Original Australians to march on Anzac day.
Frontier Wars Memorial - Canberra
  Frontier Wars Remembered

Anzac Day 2011 - Canberra

Protest to recall Aboriginal dead

Greg Ansley NZ Herald 13th April 2012

Indigenous activists plan to join the national Anzac Day parade in Canberra to remember the thousands of Aborigines who died in Australia's "frontier wars" that extended from the 18th century into the 1930s.

Although condemned by veterans' groups as inappropriate, organisers are urging supporters to join the tail of the parade with banners naming battles and massacres, and protesting "the ongoing war of attrition against Aboriginal peoples".

A similar march was held last year without incident, but tensions have been increased by the violent Australia Day demonstration that saw Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott rushed from a restaurant by bodyguards.

Michael Anderson, a founder of the Tent Embassy at the centre of the demonstration, said there would be no repeat on Anzac Day.

"Joining the Anzac march is not a protest," he said.

"It is a remembering of the [frontier] wars and the losses of those who suffered."

There is already a separate indigenous Anzac ceremony after the traditional dawn service at the National War Memorial, supported by the Returned and Services League and hosted by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans and Services Association.

The ceremony was organised to remember 5000 indigenous soldiers who served in both World Wars, following anger that they had been forgotten and discriminated against after they returned home.

Separate indigenous Anzac services will also be held in the Sydney suburbs of Redfern and Blacktown.

Now supported by local politicians and councils, the services were launched several years ago. Organisers said that while indigenous soldiers were usually treated as equals while they were serving, many of their wives had been denied access to their pay while they were fighting overseas and their children had been taken.

After they returned, Aboriginal diggers in some towns were not allowed to march with white veterans on Anzac Day, many could not get veterans' health care, housing and other benefits, and the names of most were left off war memorials throughout Australia.

The planned Canberra march intends recognising battles fought within the country, and to seek wider recognition of conditions facing indigenous communities that include shorter life expectancy, poverty, unemployment, high imprisonment rates, poor housing and high rates of disease and other health issues.

Anderson said indigenous war service had shown Aborigines were prepared to defend Australia against enemies who threatened future generations.

But the Anzac Day march was part of a process to highlight the wars fought on Australian soil since 1788, when traditional lands were taken by superior force, at gunpoint.

"Those who stood in the way were shot," he said.

"What we need to do now is to keep identifying that there has been warfare, that blood has been spilt on the wattle, and there is an ongoing war of attrition against Aboriginal peoples to this day."

Anderson said the wars against indigenous Australians had been formalised when Governor Arthur Phillip arrived in 1788 as the first Governor of New South Wales "under the rules and disciplines of war".

In 1836, the British Parliament conducted an inquiry into military operations against Aboriginal peoples.

"We cannot forget this, because too many of our people lost their lives in defence of their country and people's lives continue to be lost," Anderson said.

"To march on Anzac Day and identify all this present aggression and past aggression, like we did last year, is an absolute imperative for us as no one is going to know what is going on unless we put it out there.

"The oppression that Aboriginal peoples are subjected to is now being internalised by our youth, many of whom don't see a future as Aboriginal people.

"But they don't want to assimilate, so they pay the ultimate price in the protest, by taking their own lives - 'turning off the sun'.

"Our people are dying in custody for crimes white people don't usually go to jail for, [such as] minor driving offences."

Anderson said the proposed constitutional reform process had rejected Aboriginal sovereignty as too hard to deal with, and control of indigenous lives through the Government's Closing The Gap policies was "social engineering at its best and genocidal in its intent, through assimilation".

Australia's Hidden Wars

Wars, battles and massacres between indigenous clans and British colonisers killed thousands in campaigns extending from the 18th century into the 1930s, including:

* The Hawkesbury and Nepean Wars, a guerilla campaign mounted by an alliance of indigenous NSW clans between 1790-1816, involving several conventional battles until being crushed by the massacre of sleeping Gundugara people.

* Tasmania's Black War of 1803-1830, notorious for mass killings that, with disease epidemics, all but exterminated the island's indigenous population and destroyed much of its language and culture.

* The Port Phillip District Wars in Victoria between 1830 and 1850, fought by local clans to resist colonists seizing their land.

* Queensland's Kalkadoon Wars from 1870 to 1890, killing about 900 Kalkadoon people fighting to defend traditional lands.

* The battle of Pinjarra in Western Australia, fought between about 80 indigenous warriors and a force of soldiers, police and settlers after the death of a white settler.