Warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders: This website contains images of deceased people.

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 Force. Uncle Roy Mundine (pictured) is the Australian Army’s inaugural Indigenous Elder. The exhibition continues to grow, and Belinda Mason and Dieter Knierim are travelling across Australia inviting participants to join the series. There now has over 185 participants from across Australia. They worked closely with Department of Veterans’ Affairs, City of Sydney, Babana Mens Group to research and travel across Australia from Cairns to Perth and Melbourne to Darwin, and many small communities in between to photograph more than 150 participants for the project. The exhibition serves as a platform for sharing of stories, both inspiring and devastating. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diggers have served our nation for more than a century – from South Africa and Gallipoli, the trenches of Belgium and France, and the battlefields of Korea and Vietnam, to the rocky deserts of Afghanistan. The exhibition highlights the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders served in Australia’s defence forces even before they were granted the most basic rights of citizenship in the late 1960s.

We are open to invitations to display the work in the future should an opportunities arise that reflect the goal of the exhibition, and the view of the participants. Here are the exhibition dates:

  • 2018 Lovett Gallery, Newcastle Library, NSW. Serving Country and Aunty Hazel Cowburn’s artworks,  April 20 –
  • 2017 Canberra Civic Library November 2017 – January 2018 Serving Country and Aunty Hazel Cowburn’s artworks
  • 2017  RM Williams Learning Centre Einsvold, proudly exhibition Serving Country and the artworks by Aunty Hazel Cowburn
  • 2017 Redfern Community Centre  in conjunction with the Coloured Diggers March
  • 2016 Gayndah Motel in Queensland. Proudly on displayed alongside the paintings of Aunty Hazel Cowburn
  • 2016 Redfern Community Centre, displayed as part of the Sydney HEAD ON Photo Festival,  in conjunction with the Coloured Diggers March
  • 2015 – 16  Western Sydney University, as part their exhibition ‘Remembering H.A.C’ 
  • 2015 NAIDOC week, assisted by Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the portraits were exhibited at the Headquarters of the Department of Defence in Canberra.
  • 2015  Penrith Regional Gallery featured the works as part of their exhibition’Home/Front as part of ANZAC Celebrations
  • 2014 Currumbin RSL Club, Queensland, in conjunction with Remembrance Day
  • 2014 NAIDOC, Western Sydney University
  • 2014 VIVID Festival Wartime Legends light show at Sydney University.

Supporters of the Serving Country Exhibition