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Service held to mark 10th anniversary of Indigenous war memorial

Callan Morse -

The 10th anniversary of the unveiling Adelaide's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial was held on Wednesday.

Located in the Torres Parade Ground precinct on the land of the Karuna people, the memorial recognises and commemorates the service and sacrifice of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have served Australia.

Proud Bidjara/Birri Gubba woman Ngaire Jarro, a daughter of World War 2 Aboriginal soldier and co-author of Jack of Hearts QX11594 addressed attendees at the service.

Ms Jarro said her father's story contributed to educating people on the torment that occurred during World War 2.

"My father was 1 of 4000 Indigenous soldiers who were captured in Singapore, who became a prisoner of war on the notorious Thai/Burma Railway, who suffered the outcomes during these times," she said.

Flying Officer Jason Enchong, a Torres Strait Islander who recently transferred from the Army to the Air Force and is now in his first posting as the RAAF Edinburgh Indigenous Liaison Officer, recited the Ode at the 10th anniversary service.

Invited guests prepare to lay tributes at the service at Torrens Parade Ground in Adelaide. (Image: Aircraftwoman Halley Van Essen)

Officer Enchong is following in the footsteps of his father, Warrant Officer Michael Enchong, and his sister, Corporal Tara Enchong, who presented the addressed crowds at the war memorial in 2016.

Organised by Aboriginal Veterans SA, the 10th anniversary service was held adjacent to the River Torrens (Karrawirra Pari-ityangka).

First dedicated by then Governor-General Quentin Bryce, the memorial was unveiled on November 10, 2013, culminating a long project to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women in Adelaide.

Thousands of First Nations soldiers, aviators and sailors have fought in Australia's defence forces, serving in both conflict and peacekeeping missions.

The service was supported by ADF personnel including a chaplain and an ADF catafalque party.


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