A Warlpiri man in the Royal Australian Air Force will play the didgeridoo at the Anzac Day commemorative services along the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.
Leading Aircraftman Brodie McIntyre grew up in Cairns, Queensland, but his people are Warlpiri, of the Jumpajinpa and Jangala skin group, from Tennant Creek, Northern Territory.
Leading Aircraftman McIntyre will perform at both the Anzac Day commemorative dawn service and the Lone Pine memorial service on April 25.
He is in Turkey with members of the RAAF Band as well as Australia’s Federation Guard, who will support a number of ceremonies on April 24 and 25.
He said it was an honour to represent both Australia and its Indigenous peoples.
“It is extremely important for me to be here, not only representing Australia but also Indigenous Australians and to also commemorate the Indigenous service people who served here in Gallipoli,” he said.
He said Indigenous personnel had fought in every war since the Boer War, including 1000 who served in World War I.
“I am proud to follow in their footsteps and visit and play the didgeridoo for the Anzac Day ceremonies,” Leading Aircraftman McIntyre said.
“Being here in Gallipoli is really powerful because there are all these connections to our past.
“We have a job to do here in honouring their memory and that’s what we are going to do.”
He brought two didgeridoos to Turkey, as well as a boomerang engraved with pictures of kangaroos and emus that has been passed down through his family.
“The didgeridoo I will be playing at the services is from Kuranda-Mareeba, Queensland, near where I grew up. It was given to me as a gift from a close family friend.
“It has a really deep, slow, resonating sound, which is why I chose to play it for the Anzac Day services as they are solemn events.”
Leading Aircraftman McIntyre is posted to RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory, as a military working dog handler.
Video: Indigenous serviceman plays Didgeridoo at Gallipoli