Aboriginal resistance fighters deserve much greater recognition in the Australian War Memorial, its council chair Kim Beazley says.
"I think for the original population of Australia, the First Nations people, they deserve the dignity of resistance," Mr Beazley told ABC TV on Wednesday, referring to the long-running frontier wars.
The former federal Labor leader and West Australian governor said the frontier wars needed to be in the War Memorial "for the sake of completeness".
He said the memorial was about the history of Australians at war.
"And of course, when European settlement came to Australia, wars resulted," he said.
Mr Beazley said the frontier wars involved "guerrilla-type activity around the country" by people who were revolting against what they saw as an invasion.
"I think the Aboriginals in this country have been denied, not necessarily deliberately, but nevertheless denied the dignity of resistance," he said.
Greater recognition of the frontier wars in the War Memorial would help address that and be "an important part of truth-telling for the country as a whole", he said.
Asked about pushback by sections of the RSL against including the frontier wars in the War Memorial, Mr Beazley referred to historian Geoffrey Blainey, "much supported by the conservative element of Australian life", who called for such recognition back in 1979.
Australian Associated Press
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