Aboriginal ex-servicemen and women honoured

Wellington has had a day of recognition for the many Aboriginal ex-servicemen and women who have served the country.

The day was organised by Aboriginal Education Officer of St. Mary's Catholic School, Denise Kelly. Denise said that for NAIDOC day the servicemen theme was very important to the Wellington community, not only for past servicemen and women who defended the country, but also for their families, many of whom came along with photos of their loved ones. "These blokes are now coming out of the shadows and it shows they were real, they were there and did exactly the same things as the non-Indigenous people who served," she said.

A special lunch and get-together was held at St. Mary's Catholic School. It was a chance for people to share their stories while Michael Donovan (singer Casey Donovan's uncle) performed for the crowd. "It's a special day for the ex-servicemen and women in the Navy, Air Force, and Armed Services who never got honoured or received privileges for what they did," Aboriginal Education Officer of St. John's College Dubbo, Karen Andriske said. "They were forgotten when they came back and still couldn't go to pubs or anything. In some places this was still happening in the 1980s." "They fought not only for Australia but also for our own culture.

The event continued the following Friday at St. Mary's with a mass and a special presentation for the ex-servicemen and their families in the hall with three cabinet ministers in attendance.