The ‘Serving Country’ photographic exhibition,  serves to acknowledge and honour the valuable contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and servicewomen who have served or who are serving in the Australian Defence Force. Uncle Roy Mundine (pictured) is the Australian Army’s inaugural Indigenous Elder, an exhibition participant, and a long-time supporter of the project. The exhibition continues to grow and now includes over 165 portraits on brushed steel panels, silk banners and 3D holographic lenticulars. The artists, Belinda Mason OAM and Dieter Knierim, have worked closely with Department of Veterans Affairs, City of Sydney, and Babana Men’s Group travelling from Cairns to Perth, from Melbourne to Darwin, and to many small communities in between to photograph and record the narratives of over 350 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 – on land, sea and air – from South Africa and Gallipoli, the trenches of Belgium and France, the battlefields of Crete and the Pacific, 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 opportunity arise that reflects the goal of the exhibition and the view of the participants. Here are the exhibition dates:

  • 2023 Remembrance Day, Darling Harbour Sydney
  • 2023 Southern Cross University 3 July – 13 August
  • 2023 Albury Library Museum, New South Wales 22 April 2023 25 July 2023
  • 2023 Australian Maritime Museum April 2023 – ongoing
  • 2023 Redfern Community Centre April – July
  • 2022 – 2023 Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns Queensland – 10 Dec to 21 Jan
  • 2022 National Vietnam Veterans Museum, Phillip Island, Victoria – 12 Aug  to 20 Nov
  • 2022 Manningham Gallery Victoria – 18 May to 18 June 2022 
  • 2022 South Everliegh Sydney 27 May to 15 July
  • 2022 Redfern Community Centre – 25 April to 25 June
  • 2020 Redfern  Community Centre 25 April to 25 June
  • 2018 Lovett Gallery, Newcastle Library, NSW with Aunty Hazel Cowburn’s artworks –  April 20 to 20 July
  • 2017 Canberra Civic Library November 2017 to January 2018
  • 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 display 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 the 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.

South Eveleigh, Sydney

National Vietnam Veterans  Museum, Phillip Island

RM Williams Gallery, Einsvold

Tanks Gallery, Cairns

Albury Library Museum, NSW

Newcastle Region Library-Lovett Gallery, NSW

Southern Cross University

Victoria Barracks Museum, Sydney NSW

Redfern Community Centre

Civic Library Canberra