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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 14013

Indigenous Servicemen and Servicewomen

Debate resumed on the motion:

That this House:

(1) acknowledges the sacrifices made by those who have served Australia in past and present wars and conflicts and the importance of Remembrance Day in honouring those who have fallen; and

(2) notes that many Indigenous servicemen and women have also made valuable contributions to the Australian Defence Force, and that:

(a) in the past these contributions have not been fully acknowledged and recognised;

(b) historically many people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background experienced difficulties in enlisting due to their race;

(c) the full extent of the contribution of Indigenous peoples to past wars and conflicts is a subject that is still being researched today;

(d) more information will only add to the valuable wealth of knowledge that informs Australia’s commemoration ceremonies and enriches the historic record;

(e) it is estimated that at least 400 Aboriginals or Torres Strait Islanders served in the First World War, and between 3,000 and 6,000 in the Second World War, and limited historical records indicate that these figures may have been much higher; and

(f) the maintenance of all war memorials, including those dedicated to the efforts of Indigenous people, should be a national priority.

to which the following amendment was moved:

Paragraph 2(e) omit “400” and substitute “1,000” and omit “between 3,000 and 6,000” and substitute “at least 3,000”.