Legacy — supporting those left behind

Legacy started in 1923 to support the families of those who never made it home from war. Today, Legacy still works to keep the promise made in the trenches 98 years ago — to ‘look after the missus and the kids’ — not only to provide support to the families of those who died, but to families of veterans who gave their health in service to Australia.

1 April 2021

Vicki and Isabella are one of those Legacy families. Greg, their dedicated husband and father, tragically passed away in 2013 after a battle with Stage 4 melanoma. Greg joined the Australian Army when he was 18 and left 4 years later.

After Greg’s passing, Vicki was devastated and overwhelmed by the thought of being a single mum on her own.

At the suggestion of a friend, Vicki got in touch with Legacy — and instantly felt at ease.

“It was like a lightbulb moment and they really understood what Isabella and I were going through,” says Vicki.

Since then, Legacy has provided a lot of assistance to make things a bit easier on the family — helping with Isabella’s school fees, books, and uniforms, as well as her out-of-school activities like swimming and netball. Vicki has also been provided with educational support, with Legacy helping her obtain a Certificate III in Education through the Legacy Westpac Education & Development Fund.

Legacy helps 48,000 families nationally through their dedicated and caring volunteers — who they call Legatees — who provide personalised support for veterans’ families doing it tough. Depending on a family’s circumstance, it could be anything from helping with paperwork to making a claim with DVA, advocating on the family’s behalf, or giving them a person to talk with who has been through similar circumstances.

Vicki and Isabella are supported by their Legatee, Meredith, who lost her veteran husband and wanted to give back by becoming a volunteer with Legacy. She got involved in 2011 and has since gone on to become Legacy South Australia & Broken Hill’s first female President in 2018/2019.

Meredith knows the struggles these Legacy families may face and wants to make sure that they do not miss out on opportunities just because of their circumstances — even the smallest gesture of support can go a long way.

“[Vicki] has told me that being able to lean on me when needed takes a great weight off her shoulders,” says Meredith.

For Vicki it has meant a lot to have Legacy, and Meredith, in her corner.

“Their support saves lives,” Vicki says.

To find out more about Legacy, or how you can help our veterans’ families, visit www.legacy.com.au.

Please be aware that articles such as this have been submitted and written by ex-service and related organisations. Such articles do not necessarily represent the views of DVA. ESOs are welcome to submit stories for publication by emailing vetaffairs [at] dva.gov.au.

An older woman, a middle-aged woman and a girl pose for the camera.Legatee Meredith (left) with Isabella and Vicki.