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BiographyHistory

'Canberra-based historian David Huggonson, who has spent 20 years researching the Aboriginal contribution to Australia's military campaigns, estimated that over 400 Indigenous servicemen fought in WWI and more than 3000 in WWII."Once they got in the army they were just treated like any other soldier," he told SBS."They were able to drink in the wet canteens and full leave entitlements and so forth.But, of course, when they were discharged and demobbed back in Australia, they were relegated back to second-class status."While members of the Torres Strait Light Infantry were forced to mutiny in order to gain an increase in pay from 50 to 60 per cent of a soldier's wage, some Indigenous servicemen were paid in full but penalised in other ways.Mr Huggonson said Queensland was particularly severe in its treatment of Indigenous servicemen on their return, taking control of their savings and their wages."Unless you got a certificate of exemption from the Aborigines Protection Act, the police controlled your earnings.And that lasted well into the 1960s," he said.' (Source: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/David-Huggonson/496517193.)

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