Indigenous service recognised with first Dreaming Centre Anzac Day service

The service of Indigenous soldiers has been recognised with a dedicated Anzac Day service at the Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre.

The service, which began with a welcome to country, was the first of its kind at the centre which is a hub for cultural activities and education in Forbes.

Roc Walshaw, who spent more than 50 years with the defence forces with Army Reserves, having joined the Citizens Military Force at 17, researched some of the history of Indigenous service in our defence forces.

He spoke from the Australian War Memorial's resources on Indigenous Defence Service, which you can read in full online.

He outlined the changing policies and attitudes towards Indigenous enlistment through World War I and World War II, in an era when Indigenous people were not even recognised as citizens.

Diggers served on equal terms through the wars, he said, but on both occasions returned to the same discrimination as well as inequality in education and employment.

Mr Walshaw paid personal tribute to the Indigenous men and women he has worked with in the Defence Force.

Andrew Hunt, pastor from Generocity Church, concluded the service with a prayer and a reflection on the need for reconciliation.