2018 National NAIDOC logo

2018 National NAIDOC logo

This week the Memorial celebrates NAIDOC Week 2018 with the theme “Because of her, we can!” Under the theme, NAIDOC celebrates the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make – to our communities, our families, to our rich history, and to our nation.

Throughout the week the Memorial is delivering a number of programs and events highlighting the contributions Indigenous Australians have made to our nation, including curator-led tours, gallery talks, and stories from the archives.

Art tour

Art tour

11 July 2018, bookings essential, 12pm

During NAIDOC Week, join a curator behind the scenes to view work by female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and discuss the significant contributions they make to our understanding of the Australian Indigenous experience of war. Meet in the Second World War Galleries. Bookings are essential, and close Monday 9 July. To book email public.programs@awm.gov.au or call (02) 6243 4473

Public talk

Public talk

11 July 2018, Captain Reg Saunders Gallery, 2.30pm

Listen as Memorial staff share stories about the service and sacrifice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, see unique collection items that commemorate their wartime experiences.

Hands on history

Hands-on-history

11 July 2018, Lower galleries, 11am

What do servicemen and servicewomen wear? What do they eat? What jobs do they do? Our exciting hands-on history program answers these questions and more. Try on uniforms, handle real objects, and learn about the service of an Indigenous family across three conflicts as part of NAIDOC Week.

Last Post Ceremony

Last Post Ceremony: William Allen Irwin

11 July 2018, Commemorative Area, 4.55pm

This Last Post Ceremony will commemorate Private William Allan Irwin. Our Last Post Ceremonies take place daily in the Commemoration Area at the Memorial, and can also be viewed live on Facebook or our dedicated Last Post Ceremony YouTube Channel.

Maralinga Bomb

Because of her, we can: Female Indigenous artists in the AWM Collection

By Erin Vink

This week the Memorial celebrates NAIDOC Week 2018 with the theme “Because of her, we can!” Under the theme, NAIDOC celebrates the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make – to our communities, our families, to our rich history, and to our nation.

School students

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wartime service Memorial Box

Outreach program

In recognition of NAIDOC Week, schools have been borrowing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wartime service Memorial Box.  This outreach resource explores the wartime experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and their significant contribution to Australia’s defence over time.  For more information on the Memorial Box outreach program, please visit: https://www.awm.gov.au/learn/memorial-boxes 

Sergeant John Angel-Hands and Lance Corporal Natalie Whyte raise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at Al-Minhad air base, United Arab Emirates, July 2013 courtesy Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence Joel Graham

For Country, for Nation

Touring exhibition

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a long standing tradition of fighting for Country, and continue to serve with honour among our military forces. The new exhibition For Country, for Nation presents a diverse range of art, objects, photographs and stories from across Australia to explore.

Chloe Dray

Captain Chloe Dray

People profile

For Captain Chloe Dray, her role in the army has not only allowed her to make a positive difference but also provided her with a sense of equality. In an article published in Army News, she explained: “it doesn’t matter if you’re black or if you’re white, because when you put on this uniform, we’re all wearing the green skin and we’re all treated the same”. 

Lance Corporal Kathleen (Kath) Walker, c. 1942

Lance Corporal Kathleen Walker

People profile

In December 1942, Walker joined the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) and trained as a signaller. In that same year she married her childhood friend, Bruce Walker, who was a talented bantamweight boxer and a welder by trade. Kath remained in the AWAS until early January 1944. She settled in Brisbane with her husband, and their first son, Denis, was born two years later.

In the 1960s Walker began to develop a reputation as a poet, and published three critically acclaimed collections. Around this same time she became an increasingly passionate advocate for Aboriginal rights, and worked towards reconciliation for the remainder of her life.

Studio portrait of 5435 Private (Pte) William Joseph Punch

Researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander military service

Resource

The Australian War Memorial has devoted considerable effort over the years to collecting information and displayable items that reflect the service of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women in the Australian Defence Forces. When researching using the Memorial’s collections you may find that records and items contain names, images, and film footage of deceased people. They may also include historically and culturally sensitive images, film and sound recordings, words, terms, or descriptions; such material does not reflect the Memorial’s viewpoint but rather the social attitudes and circumstances of the period or place in which it was created.