Coloured Digger march

Coloured Digger march

Redfern Anzac march and service

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have actively served in the Australian military since the Boer War. The Coloured Digger group first marched in Redfern on Anzac Day in 2007.

The group's founder and organiser, Pastor Ray Minniecon says "we've always welcomed anyone to the Redfern march who wants to show their respect to our diggers ... 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".

In the past, when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women returned home from war, they marched at the end of the lines on Anzac Day.

"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 the diggers who, for personal reasons, have chosen not to be a part of the Anzac Day commemorations in the past," Pastor Minniecon says.

The City has supported the Coloured Digger Anzac March since 2014.

Honouring our unsung war heroes

Ahead of the Gallipoli landings centenary in 2015, the City commissioned Aboriginal artist Tony Albert to create a public artwork in Hyde Park honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women.

Yininmadyemi (Thou didst let fall) is comprised of 4 standing bullets at 7m tall, to represent those who survived and 3 fallen shells in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their country.

The dramatic sculpture work is inspired by Mr Albert's grandfather and his story about how he and 6 soldiers escaped from a prisoner of war camp in Germany during Word War II, only to be caught by Italian soldiers who lined them up to be executed.

The artwork in Hyde Park south is near the Anzac Memorial and the site has historical significance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities – it was once a ritual contest ground, a crossroads for traditional walking trails and an important site for ceremony, gathering and camping.

Mr Albert's family are Girrimay, Yidinji and Kuku Yalandji, from far north Queensland.

Images: Courtesy of the Coloured Diggers

Ray Finn representing the Light Horse

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

Last updated: Tuesday, 26 April 2016