Finding new ways to be involved
This year ADF members in South Australia acknowledged National Reconciliation Week (NRW) virtually with the annual Reconciliation SA Breakfast live streamed to participating Air Force and Army units.
RAAF Edinburgh Indigenous Liaison Officer and Kaurna man, Flight Lieutenant Steve Warrior overcame the COVID-19 restrictions by initiating an innovative way to acknowledge the significant calendar event with support from No. 24 Squadron.
“This year NRW is like no other, we’ve had to step up and adapt to the many challenges in the current environment,” Flight Lieutenant Warrior said.
“On Wednesday 27 May, a number of ADF units held a small barbecue breakfast while watching virtual videos being released to the wider community.
“The event provided a great opportunity to build morale, raise awareness of NRW and most importantly, strengthen the relationship between the broader Australian Community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
The virtual breakfast gave a great insight into the experiences and leadership of Patricia Turner CEO – National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
Flight Lieutenant Warrior also participated in a commemorative service conducted by Aboriginal Veterans South Australia. This is a small ceremony which is also held annually to commemorate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women that have served their country.
Based at RAAF Edinburgh, six members from 7th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR) also participated in the virtual NRW breakfast.
7 RAR Rifleman Private Jacob Asai was born on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and grew up on Hammond Island.
“To me, National Reconciliation Week means to celebrate and learn about our shared history, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort,” Private Asai said.
“It is important to recognise Indigenous Australians because we have been involved in major conflicts since the Boer War up until today’s conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I am proud to be a serving member within the Australian Army as the older generations did before me.”