Coloured Diggers march

Coloured Diggers march

Redfern march and commemorative service

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have actively served in the Australian military since the Boer War.

The first Anzac Day march in Redfern was organised by the Coloured Diggers group in 2007, co-founder and organiser Pastor Ray Minniecon said.

"We’ve always welcomed anyone to the Redfern march who wants to show their respect to our diggers, because they’re the untold story, the unsung heroes of our country, and we need to ensure we all give them due recognition, respect and honour," the Pastor said.

"In the past when they returned from war, they had to march at the end of the lines in the Anzac Day ceremony. What I’d like to see here in Sydney, one year, is our diggers leading the main march in the city.

"It would be a huge honour for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diggers of NSW to do that, and it might also draw out some of those diggers who, for personal reasons, have chosen not to be a part of the Anzac Day commemorations in the past."

More information about the Coloured Diggers group and march is available on their Facebook page.

Honouring our unsung war heroes

'The Unknown Soldier' was the theme for the 2014 Redfern march. For the next 3 years, the City of Sydney is supporting the event with $5,000 each year and support in-kind.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it is an opportunity for everyone to come together to honour the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women who bravely served Australia in many conflicts.

"Many Aboriginal people made the ultimate sacrifice for Australia but never received the recognition and benefits that were given to the people they served alongside. This march is an opportunity to show them the respect and dignity they deserve," the Lord Mayor said.

The City has commissioned artist Tony Albert, an Aboriginal artist whose family has over 80 years of combined military service, to create a public artwork for Hyde Park that will honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women.

Images: Courtesy of the Coloured Diggers

Ray Finn representing the Light Horse

Ray Finn representing the Australian Light Horse at the Coloured Diggers Anzac march.

Last updated: Monday, 4 August 2014