A new public artwork honouring the services and bravery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women has began in Hyde Park. This work is part of the City’s City Art public art program and a key project in the City’s Eora Journey; Recognition in the Public Domain program curated by Hetti Perkins.
Planned to be officially unveiled next year prior to Anzac Day – which will mark the centenary of Australian soldiers landing in Gallipolli – is Tony Albert’s large scale work Yininmadyemi – Thou didst let fall. It is made up of four standing bullets and three fallen shells, constructed from black marble and steel with a bronze finish. It will include inscriptions honouring the people who served their country and will sit adjacent to the ANZAC Memorial Building.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have served Australia in the military from before the Boer War to the present, but it may never be known how many officially served as ethnicity was never required to be documented. This artwork will stand as a lasting reminder of their sacrifice and commitment, on the site of a onetime Aboriginal contest ground, a crossroads for traditional walking trails and an important site for ceremony, gathering and camping.
Babana Men’s Group Fundraiser – Tuesday 11 November
In creating his work, artist Tony Albert worked closely with the Babana Men’s Group, a brotherhood of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men who are working to improve the lives of Aboriginal communities in greater Sydney. ‘Babana’ means ‘brother’ in the Dharuk language.
Founded in Redfern in October 2006, Babana brings together men from all walks of life. Many of Babana’s members are ex-servicemen who have committed their lives to ensuring the recognition of our Diggers who have fought for this country.
The Babana Men’s Group Fundraiser on 11 November brings together more than 30 Australian artists to create works that include a 1 metre tall timber bullet. An auction of this unique collection of artworks, featuring works from Deborah Kelly, Lindy Lee, TV Moore, Raquel Ormella, Jason Wing, Daniel Boyd, Abdul Abdullah, among many others, will be held at Carriageworks.
Babana has been lobbying for a number of years for the service of these men and women to be recognised and it is because of them that this memorial opportunity was made possible for me.
They are also responsible for the Coloured Diggers ANZAC Day March and services.
The contribution of Indigenous service men and women would all have but vanished from history were it not for groups like Babana, who continue to fight against this non-recognition.
For details on the fundraiser, head to the Babana Men’s Group Facebook page.