Aboriginal Veterans Commemorative Service
Wednesday 5 September, 2018
I rise to support this motion.
This motion from the Hon Mr Maher
commends Reconciliation SA and Aboriginal Veterans SA on the Anzac Day service
at the Aboriginal War Memorial; acknowledges the contribution of Aboriginal
servicemen and women; and recognises that their sacrifice often did not result
in equal treatment to their non-Aboriginal brothers and sisters in arms.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples have a long and proud history serving our great nation. Their
involvement ranges throughout all sectors and units of the Australian Defence
Force in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. This extends from
Australia’s first engagement in the Boer War in 1899 through to present day
conflicts. Sadly, only in recent years have the contributions of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander veterans become more widely acknowledged.
I was extremely honoured to represent
the Premier earlier this year at the Point Pearce War Memorial, where The Point
Pearce Aboriginal Corporation and Aboriginal Veterans SA commemorated over 100
years of military service by Aboriginal Veterans from Point Pearce and
surrounding areas. Services like these act as a reminder of the great
contribution of Aboriginal Veterans in service to this country.
I would like to acknowledge and thank
the veterans and their families who have sacrificed and courageously fought to
protect our freedoms. I am pleased to say that the 2018 Federal Budget has
provided Veterans and their families with $100 million in funding in addition
to ongoing funds allocated to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs which, in
2018-19 will total $11.2 billion. It is absolutely vital that we take care of
our Veterans and acknowledge their sacrifice, bravery, hardship and
determination. I am proud to support this motion.