Exhibit recognises York’s Indigenous Anzacs

Avon’s Indigenous Anzacs are in the spotlight this week, at the York’s Anzacs: Stories Remembering Them exhibition. 

Featured at the York Town Hall are the life stories of 11 Indigenous York World War I servicemen including James Dickerson, the only Indigenous soldier to die at Gallipoli and his brother Harry, who survived WWI.

Famous early 20th century footballer Jimmy Melbourne is also featured through a stunning silhouette painted by local artists John Blurton and Esther Tomek.

Led by well-known Ballardong Noongar artist Dennis Kickett Noongali, a series of Community Arts Network WA funded workshops held in York during 2017 resulted in a collection of dramatic and colourful life sized images.

Together with life sized photographs, these evoke the past Anzacs of York in a hauntingly evocative and powerful way.

One of the few photographs of Indigenous Anzacs is that of John Fitzgerald, who served on the Western Front in a Tunnelling Company.

His striking image forms a life-sized panel next to the interpretation and contemporary print by Dennis Kickett Noongali and Ian Coates which depicts the Defence of Country.

An imposing silhouette by Michelle Bateman uses interesting techniques to tell the story of the four Holland brothers from Greenhills, and many other local families created Indigenous Anzac silhouettes.

Celebrate NAIDOC week by taking a look at some of these fabulous creations.

Visitors can also find out more about each person as biography booklets are available to read in a comfy rest area where there are lots of hands-on activities for families.

Children can build their own dugout out of sandbags or help to roll up bandages for wounded soldiers.

Adults will enjoy the mini theatrette that shows never-before-shown photographs of Gallipoli taken by local York serviceman Lionel Sargent.

York’s Anzacs: Stories Remembering Them is open daily from 9.30am-3.30pm although it is closed for lunch on weekdays 12.30-1.30pm.

A visit to this moving and uplifting tribute is a great way to remember and honour York’s Indigenous servicemen during NAIDOC week.

There’s only three weeks left so don’t miss your chance to see this superb major exhibition before it closes on July 25.