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Exhibitions Celebrate First Australians’ Wartime Contributions

The Gab Titui Cultural Centre will join in celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion, presenting two exhibitions to commemorate the occasion.

The Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion was formed in 1943 as over 800 Torres Strait Islanders – almost the entire male population of the Torres Strait – joined together as one against the threat of invasion from the north.  

Torres Strait Regional Authority Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen, describes the historical contributions of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people to Australia’s armed forces as both formidable and often overlooked.

“At a time when Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal men and women were not afforded many of the rights of equal opportunity, members of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion drew on their warrior ethos and volunteered to serve their country,” Mr Stephen said.

“On 16th March 2018 the Gab Titui Cultural Centre will unveil exhibitions in both gallery spaces to celebrate and uncover the individual and family stories of service and sacrifice of the First Australians.”

The 75th Anniversary of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion will feature in Gab Titui’s Ephraim Bani Gallery, while the main gallery space will host the award-winning Shrine of Remembrance travelling exhibition, Indigenous Australians at War from the Boer War to the present.

“We are honoured to welcome the Shrine of Remembrance travelling exhibition, which presents Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ stories drawn from all over Australia and celebrates the courage, tenacity and resourcefulness of all Indigenous Australians in the armed forces,” Mr Stephen said.

The exhibitions will be complemented by children’s activities, including wreath and poppy making.

For more information visit www.gabtitui.gov.au.

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.