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Reg SaundersPrint Page Print this page

Reg Saunders : 24-August-2012
Reg Saunders : 24-August-2012
Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A plaque commemorates Reg Saunders, the first Aborigine to be commissioned as an Army Officer.

Many Aboriginal Australians have been a part of the Australian armed forces since the Boer War. Although not permitted to become Australian citizens until 1968, service in the armed forces was one area where Aborigines experienced less discrimination than in the wider Australian society. Captain Reg Saunders, MBE, is perhaps Australia`s best known Aboriginal soldier, being the first indigenous Australian to be commissioned as an officer into the Australian Army, in 1945.

In Korea, he served as Officer Commanding, C Company, 3 RAR. He was the first Aboriginal serviceman to command a rifle company, and was respected and popular with his men. Saunders quickly established himself and won wide respect for his abilities as a platoon commander, particularly for his determination when leading patrols far from the battalion`s main position.

Location

Address:Cliff Street, Portland Municipal Offices, Portland, 3305
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.351672
Long: 141.607553
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Indigenous
Approx. Event Start Date:1944
Approx. Event End Date:1944

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1984-85
Front Inscription

Victoria 150
Growing Together 1984-5
In honour of Captain REGINALD SAUNDERS, 
born in 1920, who grew up in the Portland
district and joined the Australian Army during
World War II as a private. In 1944 he became
the first Aborigine to be commissioned as an
officer.

Source: RSLV,VMR,MA,SKP,RHSV
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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