The Boys from Barambah









This year’s ANZAC week saw two unique and exciting events in the celebration and commemoration of the role of Black Diggers from one small Queensland community.

On Tuesday 21st April we launched a display of the involvement of the Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement in the 1914-1918 World War. In those days Cherbourg was known as “Barambah”. Forty seven (47) men from the area signed-up to fight for the British Empire in far-away fields and deserts.

The Boys from Barambah is the name given to an exhibition, a book, a website, a film and a suite of educational resources on display at the Ration Shed Museum in Cherbourg. The launch was attended by ex-soldiers and community Elders who came together to remember those who served and to pass on the spirit of ANZACs to the younger generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. Many other dignitaries, politicians, local RSL representatives, organisations and schools witnessed the launch of the displays.

As Eric Law, chair of the Ration Shed’s Anzac committee said, “with The Boys from Barambah we’ve tried to capture the stories of our young Aboriginal men leaving their homes for the first time, going abroad to foreign lands to fight a war for the British Empire and the Australian nation – some of whom making the ultimate sacrifice – and then returning to their difficult lives under the Aboriginal Protection Act.”

The Boys from Barambah contains many stories which are both interesting and unsettling. One such story is of a group of young men who enlisted only to find they were part of a publicity scheme to shame white men into joining the service in Brisbane. They were sent back to Barambah after a few weeks and then delisted on the grounds that they were not sufficiently “associated with white people”.

On Saturday 25th an ANZAC Day ceremony was held in the early morning in Cherbourg. This event saw two significant moments: the re-naming of the Memorial Park as the Boys from Barambah ANZAC Park and the unveiling of a new Honour board which acknowledges for the first time all the men who enlisted from the Barambah region. A significant attendance is expected from local Cherbourg and South Burnett people.

You can purchase a copy of the Boys from Barambah Book by going online to , go on a journey with some of the Boys from Barambah and visit , visit the Ration Shed museum.  All profits from the sale of these books goes back to the Ration Shed to continue the great work and programs held at the Cherbourg Historical Precinct.  Please show your support.

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Sunshine Coast Queensland