The ‘Serving Country’ photographic exhibition serves to acknowledge and recognise the valuable contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and service women who have served or who are serving in the Australian Defence Services.
The portraits, by Belinda Mason and Dieter Knierim, were first created during the Redfern Coloured Diggers March in April 2014, with the support of the Western Sydney University and the Elders on Campus and were displayed as a part of 2014 VIVID Festival Wartime Legends light show at Sydney University. During 2014 NAIDOC, Western Sydney University exhibited 20 of the portraits which were printed on 60cm x 40cm brushed steel panels. In conjunction with the 2015 ANZAC Celebrations Penrith Regional Gallery featured the works as part of their exhibition’Home/Front. During 2015 NAIDOC week, with the assistance of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the portraits were exhibited at the Headquarters of the Department of Defence in Canberra. To coincide with 2014 Remembrance Day, the portraits were exhibited at Currumbin RLS Club. The works returned to Western Sydney University in late 2015 till early 2016 as part their exhibition ‘Remembering H.A.C’ In April 2016, the exhibition be displayed as part of the Sydney 2016 HEAD ON Photography Festival. This exhibition is supported by the Coloured Diggers March and will be shown at the Redfern Community Centre.
‘Serving Country’ has continued to grow, and Belinda and Dieter have travelled across Australia inviting participants to join the series. There now has over 100 participants from across Australia and still growing.
Uncle Roy Mundine (pictured) is the Australian Army’s inaugural Indigenous Elder.