Marilyn (Lynn) Dickson is a Wiradjuri woman and member of the Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps Association. This interview is part of the ‘Honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men and Women who Served Their Country’ project. In her interview Lyn discusses her work as a recruiter and trainer for the Defence Force, racial inequality in the armed forces, and her current position as an Aboriginal Community Development officer for local government. In the excerpt below she talks about the meaning of ANZAC Day for her.
In the WRAAC [Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps] Association I believe there’s only three or four of us that recognise as Aboriginal people. It’s a shame because I’m sure there are a lot more, but people just didn’t stand up and say “Hey, I’m Aboriginal”. You just became part of the WRAAC Association and that’s the way it was. I think that the WRAAC recognised you for what you were, not who you were. So if you were a professional in the way that you managed your service then it didn’t matter what colour you were. I march with the WRAAC Association every ANZAC Day. Even when I had cancer I marched with ANZAC Day. And I get emotional when we march down George Street and here’s Dick Smith [entrepreneur] every year right in the front of the crowd with a little sign that says “Thank you, girls”. Watch ANZAC Day parades and you’ll see that we are the ladies in green jackets and green berets and we actually march in formation. We don’t straggle; we do it all flat-out, marching all the way. We’re very proud of who we are and we’re proud of the recognition that we get. ANZAC Day to me means an avenue for people to actually recognise people that served their country and it’s a good avenue for people that haven’t served to go and say thank you.