The Victorian Government will pay tribute to the thousands of Aboriginal men and women who have served in the Australian Armed Forces on Sunday.
The Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service has been held since 2006 to formally recognise and honour the service of Aboriginal Victorians throughout history.
This year’s event will be held online for the first time, in keeping with the directives of the Chief Health Officer.
It will also be the first time the event is held without the late Aunty Dot Peters, who was instrumental in establishing the service in honour of her father, who died as a prisoner of war while working on the Thai-Burma Railway.
Aunty Dot passed away last year. Her son, Andrew Peters, will speak at the service.
Many thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women have fought for Australia, but it took many years for their contributions to be formally acknowledged and honoured.
The Lovett brothers became the first family group to be inducted into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll in 2013, with Alfred, Leonard, Frederick, Edward and Herbert all serving in World War One.
It would start a family legacy that has so far seen 21 members of the Lovett family serve for their country.
The virtual service is open to the public and starts at 11am. To register your interest, visit events.humanitix.com/victorian-aboriginal-remembrance-service.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams
“Many thousands of Aboriginal Victorians have proudly served Australia in every conflict since Federation – their strength and resilience must be acknowledged.”
“To have offered service to a country that did not recognise you as one of its own is a mark of true selflessness and we honour that remarkable commitment.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans Robin Scott
“Nearly 4,000 Aboriginal Australians officially served in World War Two alone although the number is probably much higher.”
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to our veterans – including our Aboriginal Victorian veterans – and I encourage everyone to join the service to say thanks.”