Kate MacInnes was just 13 years old when her father, Lieutenant Andrew MacInnes, died suddenly in 2010. It was then that Legacy stepped in to help when she and her family needed them most.
“I don’t know where I’d be without Legacy,” she said after presenting a moving address about her father at the launch of Legacy Week at the Australian War Memorial. “Once Dad passed away I felt as if I’d lost my coach, [but] Legacy made it clear I wasn’t alone … They made me realise that there were other families facing similar issues, all with different stories, different experiences, and different family members passing away. But the one thing we all had in common was that Legacy was there to support us.”
For close to a century, Legacy has been honouring a pledge made by the original Anzacs to care for the “missus and kids” of fallen comrades. Today, it supports some 60,000 beneficiaries, 96 per cent of whom are widows.
Legacy Australia Chairman Rick Cranna said Legacy, which relies on the generosity of the community and an army of dedicated volunteers to carry out its vital work, is the only organisation of its type in the world.
“For every serviceman or woman, there is a family who risks having their life devastated,” Mr Cranna said.
“Today, Legacy, after 95 years of service, remains focused on the wellbeing, not of veterans, but of their families … Our financial and physical support to widows and their children, in itself, may not be sufficient to ensure the complete wellbeing of those in need, but it does help close a gap. It makes a real difference and it helps those in need cope with at least some of the pressures of the loss …
“We ask all Australians to open their hearts in support of the partners and kids ... It’s a chance to say thank you and to remember that war not only affects those who serve it also affects those left behind.”
Legacy merchandise, including badges, pens and bears, is available across the country during Legacy Week. To make a donation or volunteer your time, visit www.legacy.com.au or call 1800 534 229.