Legislative Council: Thursday, November 03, 2022


Legacy Week

The Hon. L.A. CURRAN (16:00): I move:

That this council—

1. Notes that Legacy Week was held from 28 August until 3 September 2022;

2. Acknowledges the work of Legacy and their volunteers who support the families of our veterans; and

3. Recognises the sacrifices that our veterans and their families make when they serve in our Defence Force.

Legacy is an iconic Australian charity that was established in 1923 and was founded on a promise made from one digger to another to 'look after the missus and the kids'. Legacy Week works to help support the families of veterans. The Legacy Week appeal has been running since the 1940s and it is a time for Australians to show their support for the widows and children whose loved ones have served to protect our country, our values and our freedoms. The Legacy badge is sold throughout Legacy Week. It is a special emblem of support for our veterans' families, symbolising our nation's greatest values of mateship, compassion and fairness. The funds Legacy badges raise make a big impact on the lives of veterans' families.

Legacy Week is a time to give back to the families of those who have given so much to protect our way of life and democracy yet have sacrificed so much on a personal level. Legacy works hard to advocate for the beneficiaries, to ensure they receive the government benefits or pensions they are entitled to, and when needed Legacy will provide a one-off payment to assist during an emergency.

Legacy ensures that there is access to health and medical support, including an emergency response unit for those living alone in their own home. Legacy strives to ensure that no person faces social isolation. Legacy has clubs, local events, holidays and camps where widows, children and families can come together to bond and create friendships.

Social isolation can be detrimental to health and wellbeing. For so many Legacy widows and their children, a Legacy morning tea or lunch is an outing that they look forward to and feel a strong connection to. They look forward to those occasions and enjoy the companionship they offer. For widows who are unable to attend such gatherings, contact is often made from visits from their legatee or legacy community social worker.

For the launch of Legacy Week, I had the privilege of joining Legacy SA for their launch event, which had a panel session which highlighted the importance of supporting veterans' families. I was incredibly moved to hear about the clear impact and support that Legacy SA offers for these families, and particularly the impact it has for children. There were many references to Legacy SA becoming an extension of their families.

Legacy has a long history of nurturing the development of children, with a focus on education. Legacy's commitment to assisting with children's education and development extends to grants and scholarships, mentoring programs for children that will assist with education and life choices, adventure activities and holiday camps.

Legacy supports the partners and children of veterans who have seen their loved ones leave our shores to serve in wars, from World War I and World War II to Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Many never made the journey home and others returned bearing the physical and mental scars of war.

Whilst no-one can replace a loved one, the work of Legacy can assist with providing after-school care for the young child of a widow who needs to work to support their family, allow a widow to live in her senior years at home with dignity, without social isolation, or provide a veteran's child with uniforms, the purchase of schoolbooks and the support to pursue a tertiary education. Legacy has provided 98 years of service to the community, and there are 3,600 legatees working every day. With 44 active clubs across Australia and one in London, no less than 43,000 veterans' families are currently receiving support.

We recognise the sacrifices that our veterans and their families make when they serve in our Defence Force, and we acknowledge the work of Legacy and its volunteers who support the families of our veterans every day.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. R.B. Martin.