The service and sacrifice of the Australian Army’s Indigenous soldiers from WW1 have been commemorated in a new documentary, Honouring Warrior Spirits, which was 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 viewed below.