George is a proud war veteran, an Aussie

Theodore man George Anderson stands with his head held high as part of NAIDOC week Rockhampton celebrations. He's at the NAIDOC march. Photo Austin King / The Morning Bulletin
Theodore man George Anderson stands with his head held high as part of NAIDOC week Rockhampton celebrations. He's at the NAIDOC march. Photo Austin King / The Morning Bulletin Austin King

WHEN he went to register for the Vietnam War in Rockhampton, a young George Anderson yelled: "I might be black but I'm certainly a bloody Australian."

"I told the man taking the registrations that this was my country too."

Mr Anderson, 65, signed up for the Vietnam War in his early 20s.

He believed it was a time when indigenous Australians "weren't constitutionalised properly".

"That guy who was recording the registrations was basically telling me, we (Aborigines) didn't have to fight for a country that didn't know whether they wanted us or not," Mr Anderson said, as he reflected on what life was like growing up.

"Many Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, before the early wars, lied about their heritage just so they could fight for their country."

One of 13 children, Mr Anderson was born in Cracow, before moving to the North Burnett town of Eidsvold and then on to Theodore.

He said he was lucky to have been raised in a privileged family.

In the settlement of Theodore, a small Central Queensland town with more than 450 residents, if you were a hard worker you were respected because of it, Mr Anderson said.

"I am a proud Aboriginal man and am proud to have fought for my country."

Topics:  anzac, naidoc, vietnam war

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