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South Australian Yarn Ups 8-14 April 2015
Our South Australian Yarn Ups kicked off in Adelaide where we met with the good folks of the Register of Aboriginal Veterans of South Australian (RAVSA) who provided us with some great insights to the many Aboriginal South Australians who served. We were also lucky enough to catch up with the inspirational Marjorie Tripp, who was the first Aboriginal woman to join the Navy.
In 2013 Frank Lampard was interviewed about his service, Frank, a Ngarrindjeri man, was born in 1946 at Point Mcleay Mission, known as Raukkan to local Aboriginal people. Frank was conscripted for Vietnam as a 20 year old in late 1966, and was posted to the Medical Corp. Frank was also Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee, responsible for a memorial to honour the bravery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in wartime, which was unveiled in Adelaide in 2013.
In 2012, Jeff McCormack spoke about joining the army in 1966 and his military career over 30 years. Jeff spent his first 4 years with the infantry and for the remainder worked in recruit training, a role he absolutely loved. Jeff’s older brother had joined the army in 1965 and served in Vietnam, and Jeff himself was motivated to join by the steady stream of Australian soldiers coming home from the conflict dead or badly injured and he felt he just had to do his bit. It was only very much later in life, around age 60, that Jeff became aware the he was Indigenous, and since then has been researching deeply into his family background.
At Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula we met with Vietnam Veteran Les Kropinyeri and his wife Robyn, who talked to us about his experience in the service and their involvement in the setting up of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial at the Torrens Parade Ground in Adelaide.