Uncle Charlie Mundine


Bundjalung (NSW) Retired Sargeant
Electronics Technician Royal Australian
Army Electrical Mechanical Engineers

Back in the Sixties, at the age of 18 every male in Australia had to register for National Service. That was based on your birthday, and if it was drawn out of the lottery then you went in. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples didn't have too. I did. But my birthday wasn't brought out of the barrel. However, the group of people that I was working with, well I was the only Aboriginal in amongst them and some of them did get called up. Why them and not me, you know? I've got the same responsibilities that they had, so why not do it.

Australia is Australia. I'll go out and pick up a handful of dirt and it's the same bit of dirt if you went and did the same thing, but it's the reasoning why you want to defend it. The difference between an Aboriginal and their defence of country and a non-Aboriginal person is that we defend country. We belong to the country, the country doesn't belong to us. A non-Aboriginal owns the country.

Born of the land, when I die I'm going back to the land.