Somerset Times

Indigenous Diggers Service

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 5, Term Four, 2019

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Last Sunday I was given the opportunity to take part in an indigenous diggers service alongside three of my peers. The ceremony was dedicated to honour the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people who served in defence of this country and took place on Jebbribillum Bora Ground in Burleigh Heads.

The Burleigh location where the service was held, holds great value in the history of the local Yugambeh people and has been used for generations as a place to meet for occasions.

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At the commencement of the service, we were greeted into the bora ground by a member of the local community in the native tongue of the Yugambeh people. What was particularly moving about the service was seeing people of all ages getting involved, sharing words and giving a performance. One that particularly stood out to me was a poem written by Cecil Fisher, an indigenous veteran who served in the Korean War. He used poetry to challenge how we treated our indigenous diggers and was a heartfelt piece that left me feeling disheartened by our actions. However, one line resinated me and writes, “If only one day they could march together side by side”. I believe services like this one held annually on the Jebbribillum Bora Ground promises to honour those who been unrightfully outcasted and is a testimony to reconciliation. It is important that we remember and honour those who willing signed their lives for this country

What was special about this year's theme was the installation of a new artwork in the hall beside the memorial. This installation – made from stainless steel – replicates the artwork found on the memorial rock in a permanent form and was significant for all those involved. I would like to thank Mr and Mrs Walker for the opportunity and to the Yugambeh Museum for allowing us to join them at this important service.

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