On Anzac Day, 25 April 2017, after the National Anzac Day Commemoration Ceremony, First Nations people laid wreathes, commemorating the fallen in the frontier wars, at the Stone of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Photo: Jane Morrison

The Victorian government and the Returned Services League (RSL), are not budging on calls for the inclusion in Anzac Day commemorations of Aboriginal people killed by colonists in the ‘frontier wars’. Read more at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-04/no-plans-to-change-anzac-day-utter-disgrace-opposition/9394356, ABC News online, updated 4 February 2018.

Professor Henry Atkinson of Echuca, Victoria has also slammed the suggestion saying including such commemorations on Anzac Day could ‘diminish Aboriginality’: Read what he had to say in the Riverine Herald of 19 March 2018: https://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-riverine-herald/20180319/281509341716389

Yorta Yorta Elder, Paul Briggs, speaking at the unveiling earlier this month of a new statue of Aboriginal leader and activist, William Cooper, in the Queens Gardens at Shepparton, Victoria, emphasised that the story of the First Peoples’ resistance to colonisation is still largely untold and demands telling. Australia as a nation is still grappling with this dark history of massacres, poisonings, dispossession, removal of children and the herding of Aboriginal people onto missions and reserves. For some First Nations Peoples the Frontier Wars took place in the 20th century within living memory. The whole story of the unveiling of William Cooper’s statue and Paul  Briggs’s call to take up the fight for equal rights and to learn about our history was published in the Shepparton News of 2 April 2018. [Story no longer accessible online, 6 October 2022].

You can read more about William Cooper (1861?–1841) in the Australian Dictionary of Biography at: https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/cooper-william-5773

The annual Frontier Wars March and commemoration will take place on Anzac Parade, Canberra before the commencement of the National Anzac Day Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial on 25 April 2018. Here’s what Ghillar Michael Anderson, the last surviving founder of the Aboriginal Embassy, Canberra on 26 January 1972, has to say about why the Frontier Wars March is so important: https://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/frontier-wars

Page updated 6 October 2022.