Joint Media Release with Assistant Minister for Defence Senator the Hon. David Fawcett
Indigenous Australians who have served in Australia’s wartime history were recognised at the unveiling of a sculpture at the Australian War Memorial yesterday.
The Commonwealth Government was pleased to have supported the construction of the sculpture ‘For Our Country’ with $225,000 grant from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion said the sculpture pays an important tribute to the military service of Indigenous Australians.
“It’s important we commemorate the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have fought to protect Australia – and what better place than at the home of remembrance of Australia’s wartime experience.
“The sculpture provides a place in the grounds of the War Memorial to reflect upon the contribution of Indigenous serving men and women in protecting our nation,” Minister Scullion said.
Assistant Minister for Defence, Senator David Fawcett attended yesterday’s proceedings in Canberra and said the sculpture unveiled allows us all to remember, to reflect, to see and to understand the sacrifice made by First Australians in Australia’s military history.
“I encourage all Australians to visit the sculpture, to learn more about our history and remember the sacrifice of Indigenous Australians, their legacy, and the equality of their service to our country,” Assistant Minister Fawcett said.
The sculpture’s title ‘For Our Country’ was selected from a shortlist of submissions and approved by national Indigenous military personnel, curators from the War Memorial, and local Elders.
The sculpture was designed by North Queensland Indigenous artist Daniel Boyd, alongside Edition Office Architects, who were commissioned to design a new work for the Sculpture Garden at the Australian War Memorial.
An invitation will go out to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Nations seeking soil from their country to be offered into the ceremonial chamber to symbolise unification.
To find out more about ‘For Our Country’ go to www.awm.gov.au/about/ourwork/projects/ForOurCountry.