George Bostock is convinced of Australia’s journey towards reconciliation. The 4 RAR veteran of the Borneo and Vietnam wars, who was honoured yesterday in Brisbane as part of National Reconciliation Week, said that for him it started on the battlefield where he forged life-long friendships.
“Indigenous soldiers took part in Borneo and Vietnam when no colour, creed or religion mattered,” Mr Bostock said.
“Our primary concern was to destroy the enemy and to come home alive. There was no time for racism, only friendship and those friendships have lasted.
I believe, in our nation’s journey toward reconciliation, that the indigenous and non indigenous members of the armed forces are miles ahead.” Mr Bostock of Kallangur, north of Brisbane, earned ten medals for active and long service in the armed forces.
The fourth annual Indigenous Veterans’ Ceremony, organised by RSL Queensland and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, yesterday recognised indigenous soldiers’ efforts from the Boer war to today.
It was attended by representatives from indigenous groups, local schools, veteran families and members of the Australian Defence Force.
RSL Queensland chief executive Chris McHugh said that Reconciliation Week was a time to reflect on the value of indigenous Australians serving in the armed forces. “Today’s ceremony is just a small step on the reconciliation journey toward acceptance,” he said. “As their presence grows, so does their valuable input in the armed forces.”
Reconciliation Week, which continues until tomorrow, aims to inform people about indigenous history and culture.
Note: Corporal George ‘Podgy” Bostock was an original member of 4 RAR as was his brother Jerry. His third brother Lester, served in Artillery. George served in Malaysia, Borneo and South Vietnam with 4 RAR before transferring to Air Despatch as a parachute rigger. George and Jerry were one of the seven sets of brothers who served in the Battalion. George later wrote a very successful stage play called ‘It Seems Like Yesterday' about the Vietnam War which opened in Brisbane a few years ago.
Eagle Junction State School student, Shontae Wright admires George’s Medals.
Their Service . . . . Our Heritage
We Will Remember Them
the motto of the Royal Australian Regiment
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ARMED FORCES “MILES AHEAD” IN OUR JOURNEY TO RECONCILLIATION
(Tara Miko, The Queensland Courier-Mail, 01 June 2010)
Indigenous Veterans' Ceremony
2 June 2010
4 RAR Associations of Australia