Indigenous soldiers recognised
INDIGENOUS soldiers will be remembered during the Armistice centenary commemorations in Quinns Rocks this Sunday.
Ernie Dingo will be the guest speaker at Quinns Rocks RSL’s Remembrance Day service at the Quinns Rocks Sports Club.
Mr Dingo said many Aboriginal men who went to war would not have otherwise considered getting a passport.
“They came back with service records; that too is like a badge of honour that they served,” he said.
“A lot of them went to war because it was a symbol of manhood.”
However, he said those men faced challenges before they even reached the battlefield because they were not recognised as citizens of their own country and many used fake names to enlist.
“The reason why they have gone away was to do something for what they believe in and make Australia a safer place,” he said.
As well as the emphasis on recognising Indigenous soldiers, Quinns Rocks RSL hopes to recruit more people returning from recent conflicts and service.
President Kenan Huseini is one of the youngest veterans in the sub-branch, having served as a medic in the Royal Australian Navy for 14 years, including stints in the Arabian Gulf after September 11, and in border protection.
Mr Huseini said he joined the RSL “to give a bit back to veterans and to get involved” after leaving the Navy in 2014.
“You get used to being involved and all of a sudden you are not when you leave,” he said.
Mr Huseini said most of the veterans were in their 70s or older and many served in World War II, the Vietnam War or Korean War.
Quinns Rocks RSL will host its service at the Quinns Rocks Sports Club on Tapping Way from 10.45am on November 11.
The service will include a Welcome to Country by Geri Hayden, Jon Walley playing the didgeridoo, a Last Post and minute of silence.
Ernie Dingo with Quinns Rock RSL president Kenan Huseini.