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Honouring Warrior Spirits

Australian Army soldiers Lance Corporal Laurence Robertson, from 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and Corporal Terry Walker, from the School of Military Engineering, perform during the ‘Honouring Warrior Spirits’ ceremony
27 May 2019

The service and sacrifice of the Australian Army’s Indigenous soldiers from WW1 are commemorated in a new documentary, Honouring Warrior Spirits, which has been released for National Reconciliation Week 2019.

Deputy Chief of Army, Major General Anthony Rawlins said that the documentary shares insight into the somewhat unknown history of Army’s Indigenous soldiers and the importance of ceremony to ensure these soldiers’ spirits return to country.

“Indigenous Australians have served in nearly every conflict and peacekeeping operation that Australia has participated in for over 100 years,” Major General Rawlins said.

“Honouring Warrior Spirits acknowledges all Indigenous soldiers, with a focus on the 72 known Indigenous soldiers who fought at Gallipoli, and the 13 we know were killed in action, although the true number may never be accurately known. The documentary takes us through the important Indigenous ceremonies conducted in 2015 that invited the spirits of the fallen Indigenous soldiers to return them back to country."

The importance of these ceremonies is explained through the eyes of serving Indigenous soldiers who, in consultation with current and former Indigenous solders, Indigenous community Elders and the Australian War Memorial, had full responsibility for the concept, development and conduct of this project.

Honouring Warrior Spirits provides a lasting commemoration of this important Centenary of Anzac story and can be downloaded from:

A limited number of DVDs have been produced for Indigenous communities, veteran and youth organisations and can be sourced via email army.indigenous [at]

The Honouring Warrior Spirits ceremonies and documentary were supported by the Australian War Memorial, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Centenary of Anzac staff.


Last updated
31 May 2019
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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