Song for indigenous soldiers, a step in the right direction
GORENG Goreng elder Richard Johnson says having a song to honour indigenous soldiers is a step in the right direction.
"I respect what the armed forces have done and that people gave their lives.
"But when we talk about Australia and the relationship between mainstream and first nations we still have a long way to go.
"When my mates were conscripted in the 70s part of me thought maybe I wouldn't mind going. But another part asked why should I?"
"They probably thought it was the right thing to do at the time.
"There would have been a lot of pressure on them to 'do the right thing'. I don't know what their thinking was at the time, but based on my own experience and thoughts, I probably wouldn't have gone.
"Everyday life experience said to me - you're not good enough for a job or take their daughters out, to be invited into their homes. So why would I want to give my life to a culture that doesn't really embrace me?"