Launch of Legacy Week
I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal People, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.
For the families of veterans who have died or given their health serving our nation — there is enormous cost.
It’s a life without a husband or wife or partner. A life growing up without a father or mother. A life that will never be the same; that will never be as planned.
The sacrifices of our servicemen and women are also the sacrifices of their families. And that is why we look after them. Because for those left behind, life goes on. For all the grief, sorrow and loss, there are still hopes, dreams and aspirations to be fulfilled.
And Legacy is there to help.
Legacy is a supporting hand and a friendly ear. It is someone who is on your side and who helps make life all it can and should be. Legacy is family. It cares and it doesn’t forget.
I have personally seen the high cost of service.
As CDF, it has been my duty to engage with families after the death of a loved one. I know the grief. But I also know that there is a path forward.
So, this week, I encourage everyone to spare a special thought for those who live with the consequences of war and service every day.
Around the country, badges will be sold on street corners and in shopping centres. People from all walks of life will buy and wear the badges — saying we too remember, we acknowledge our debt to those who gave their all, and we appreciate how difficult it is for those living without someone they always thought would be there.
It’s a small badge but it has a big impact. It’s a symbol of the unity and compassion that has lived in the heart of Legacy for nearly 100 years and lives in the hearts of all Australians to this day.
It is my honour to be at this place of national remembrance, to see and be with Legatee families and children.
Soon we will hear Mrs Kathryn Christie’s story.
We will lay wreaths — not only out of respect for the past, but also to show our strength in the present and our determination for the future.
Legacy is at the very heart of all this and it is my honour to launch Legacy Week for 2019.