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.