The Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC) will host the Australian War Memorial’s Indigenous Liaison Officer Michael Bell, this Anzac Day as he delivers his presentation Serving Under the Protector.

Serving Under the Protector will cover the historical narrative of the Indigenous Service as an overview. It will focus on the contribution, service, sacrifice and restrictions imposed on First Nations volunteers from the Boer War through to Vietnam. It will also highlight the Australian War Memorial’s journey to a broader and deeper representation of frontier wars in the memorial’s new galleries to be opened in 2028.

The presentation will also explore the social, political and legislative implication on First Nations people prior to and after Federation and the historical perception of the First Nation response to defending country.

WPCC Cultural Development Coordinator Jessica Moore said the venue was excited to welcome Mr Bell to the region as part of the Anzac Day commemorations.

“Michael’s presentation is both insightful and important, and we’re very grateful to the Australian War Memorial for sending us a speaker of this calibre to help us commemorate this important date,” Ms Moore said.

Michael Bell is a Ngunnawal/Gomeroi man and has been the Indigenous Liaison Officer at the Australian War Memorial since 2016. During this time, he has been focused on the recognition and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island service men and women and their broader individual and community contributions to the military history of Australia.

Michael has co-edited the memorial’s publication For Country, For Nation - An Illustrated History of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Military Service and several other articles relating to Indigenous service.

He is connected to several Aboriginal organisations dedicated to serving the community, including the Native Title Service Provider for NSW and the ACT, Ngunnawal Aboriginal Corporation, Onerwal Local Aboriginal Land Council and Buranya Aboriginal Corporation.

Serving Under the Protector will start at 7am on 25 April 2024 at the WPCC Auditorium, immediately following the Dubbo Dawn Service, held at Victoria Park.

The presentation is a free drop-in talk, with no bookings required. Creo Café will be open for attendees. 

Last Edited: 15 Apr 2024

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