Plaque honours role in services

The plaque that recognises indigenous service men and women is presented by Stevan Ober and Buddy Lee to the RSL represented by John Kelsey.
The plaque that recognises indigenous service men and women is presented by Stevan Ober and Buddy Lee to the RSL represented by John Kelsey. Robyne Cuerel

INDIGENOUS service men and women in Hervey Bay have been honoured as part of ongoing NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The Hervey Bay RSL sub branch yesterday was handed a plaque which recognises Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Pacific Islander people for their involvement in Australia's military history.

The plaque, which was provided by the indigenous community, was presented to RSL sub branch president John Kelsey by retired South Pacific Islander serviceman Buddy Lea.

Mr Lea said the recognition was an important part of NAIDOC celebrations which this year involves a focus on recognising indigenous service personnel.

"The plaque was presented to the Hervey Bay RSL sub branch in honour of NAIDOC Week with the idea of it being placed among the memorabilia that is already on display," he said. "When the RSL sub branch was approached they did not hesitate."

"I can tell you right now, there are no more prouder people in Hervey Bay than the indigenous people because a lot of them have found out just now what their forefathers did and how they conducted themselves during wartime, things that these kids today didn't even know about.

Mr Kelsey said the plaque represented an important chapter of Australia's military history particularly with the Anzac centenary coming up.

Topics:  festivals naidoc naidoc week

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