Griffith University will lead a nation-wide search for a memorial design to honour all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander military personnel who have served in armed conflict.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, Glen Elmes have announced that the memorial is to be erected in Anzac Square.
Mr Vern Hopkins, Vietnam veteran and co-Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial Committee, said it was a proud moment to be in Anzac Square to hear the announcement.
“This where we come on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day and to know there will be a memorial here for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women makes me so proud,” Mr Hopkins said.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defence personnel have been involved in conflicts since the Boer War of 1899.
Now that the site for the memorial has been established the next step will be to hold a competition for how the memorial should look. Griffith’s Queensland College of Art will play a leading role in running the design competition and in overseeing the development and installation of the monument.
Griffith University Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Mazerolle said it was a privilege and an honour to be involved in the project but it takes a community to make something like this possible.
“This is a community initiative and it will need the support of all Australians,’ Professor Mazerolle said.
“Griffith is well placed to encourage the whole community to get behind it and we can provide the platform for this to take place.”
More information about the memorial and how to donate to the fund can be found here.
Mr Kevin Alcock,President of the Sherwood/Indooroopilly RSL Sub-branch and who served in Vietnam and Malaya, said the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial was highly appropriate.
“We are only too happy to lend our support as such recognition is long overdue,” Mr Alcock said.
Next year will mark 100 years since Gallipoli, but it is hoped the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial will be finished by 2017 to coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the Australian Light Horse Brigade battle at Beersheba.