In the early hours of Tuesday, April 25, community members from across West Arnhem came together to commemorate ANZAC Day with dawn services held in Jabiru, Maningrida and Warruwi.
More than 200 community members and visitors from out of town attended the proceedings at the Jabiru cenotaph with the service involving a number of community organisations including the Jabiru Army Cadets and Jabiru Girl Guides for the first time.
Corben Nabanardi also read out ‘The Ode’ while fellow cadets Amos Djandjomerr, Wadiet Batman-Baird, Patrick Cunningham and Jason Cunningham assisted in the flag raising.
Personnel from the Navy, NORFORCE, Army and Airforce attended the special service with Reverend Lindsay Parkhill delivering the welcoming prayers and RAAF Corporal Bryce Nietvelt and NORFORCE Corporal Steven La Rose addressing the crowd as special guest speakers.
At the conclusion of the service, the community marched together to the Jabiru Lake and enjoyed a barbecue breakfast cooked by the Jabiru Fire Station.
West Arnhem Regional Council Media Coordinator Heidi Walton wished to thank all those involved in the event, particularly the wonderful people and local groups who made the event a community effort.
Meanwhile, more than 150 community members attended Maningrida’s 19th ANZAC Day Service which was held at the Maningrida Barge Landing.
Jo Killmister said it was great to see so many people from different organisations come together to share in the spirit of ANZAC Day and to remember those that have served the country in the past and the present.
“It was fantastic to see the Maningrida Police and NORFORCE share the duties of raising and lowering the flags,” she said.
“We had some students from the school read some poems and lay some wreaths, and a historical address that captured a story from long ago. After the service we all came together at the snake pit to have a bacon and egg breakfast. “
“Thank you to the West Arnhem Council, Maningrida Police, staff from the school and BAC who all got involved to organise and run the event.”
The dawn service in Warruwi was also greatly received with WARC Council Services Manager Kupa Teao thanking the community for their support.
“A great big ‘thank you’ to everyone in the community who attended the service and supported it,” he said.
“I was extremely proud of our Army Reserve Indigenous men from Warruwi who turned up in full uniform.”