ANZAC: Indigenous Lighthorse Ride

Anzac 2015

 Article from Centralian Advocate’ Newspaper Tues. 14th April,2015

 by Matt Garrick


 RAYMOND Finn is readying himself for one of the proudest moments of his life.

The Centralian Lighthorse Troop Leader has been decked in full regalia and rattling the bucket on the streets of Alice Springs this month, raising funds for an Anzac Day pilgrimage.

A group of around 30 riders led by Mr Finn will travel on horseback from Hermannsburg to Alice on April 25, where they will meet and join with the town’s commemorative parade.

Mr. Finn, whose great-grandfather Jack Ludgate fought at Gallipoli, said it was ‘a big opportunity for us as indigenous people.’

‘I’ve been doing this stuff since 2004 when I rode in Sydney … we were the guard of honour on Reserved Forces Day,’ Mr Finn said.

‘That’s where my journey started.  And it’s built up so now I’ve got a small troop waiting for me.’

He said the 100th Anzac Day was a momentous occasion for indigenous people across the country.

‘It’s a very special day for all of our people being recognised.  It’s a big honour, particularly for me, honouring our forebears’.

‘We want to celebrate with the Australian public about this, because we all – our family and friends – went with whitefellas as well to fight this war.’

Last year, NAIDOC Week was focused on the efforts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s armed forces – the first in a series of tributes to our indigenous war heroes.

A supporter of the Centralian Lighthorse Troop, Sherry Lowah Snr from Alice Springs said the Anzac Day event would be ‘very emotional’.

‘A lot of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women have fought in all the wars that Australia has been involved in.’ Ms Lowah said.

‘To get that recognition is just amazing, phenomenal’.

‘What Uncle Raymond Finn is doing with the Lighthorse Contingent in Central Australia is magnificent’.

Ms Lowah’s uncle was the first man of Aboriginal descent to serve in the Royal Australian Navy.


A new secular CD titled Spirit of the Anzacs has recently been released here in Australia, in line with the centenary of Anzac.


The producer of the CD was Garth Porter, whose two grandfathers served in the New Zealand army in France and the Middle East in World War 1, whilst his uncle served in the New Zealand army and his father in the RAF in World War 2. The CD features Lee Kernaghan and special guests.


In the CD booklet Lee Kernaghan explains that Garth Porter, Colin Buchanan and he spent 18 months poring over letters, diaries and stories of Australian and New Zealand diggers over 100 years of Anzac history from World War 1 to Afghanistan. They respectfully and lovingly then adapted some of those stories to music. In summary he says that this album is unlike anything he has done before.


There are 16 songs on this CD – five from World War 1, four from World War 2, one from the Korean War, two  from the Vietnam War, two from the Afghanistan War, and the final two are Lest We Forget and Spirit of the Anzacs. I have played the whole CD, and I shed a tear or two or three, particularly with some of the earlier ones….you may need some tissues. Here is a YouTube rendition of the 16th song, Spirit of the Anzacs.


Lee Kernaghan’s ‘Spirit of the Anzacs’ charity single featuring Guy Sebastian, Sheppard, Jon Stevens, Jessica Mauboy, Shannon Noll and Megan Washington.



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