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Melanie, Chloe and Max*

Melanie* is proud of her ex-husband’s service in the Australian Army but understands the cost better than most- she’s lived with the devastating effects of trauma for years.

“Legacy’s support has shielded us psychologically. It’s kept my family safe in a not very safe situation.”

Her ex-husband, Scott*, has severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The result of two tours of Timor Leste when he served in the Australian Army.

“He couldn’t handle noise. He couldn’t handle the kids being kids, so you were always running interference to keep the peace. Then, in September last year, it all overflowed.”

In the first years after Scott’s diagnosis and eventual medical discharge from the Australian Army, it was a constant battle for Melanie just to keep him calm. To keep him from harming himself or others.

Though the PTSD never really went away, Scott’s condition did seemingly settle for quite some time… but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“It really put a strain on his coping mechanisms. Then it all came to a head last year. It’s very hard to care for someone when they make you feel at risk yourself. I needed safety plans in place.”

When faced with increasingly violent outbursts and a husband who refused to recognise his worsening condition – who wouldn’t take his meds or seek the treatment he needed – Melanie had no other choice but to take her kids and flee.

By that point, she had been a stay-at-home mum for 12 years and studying. Scott had blocked her from all bank accounts when she left and she didn’t have access to anything.

Melanie struggled to find a full-time job that was flexible enough to work with the kids and study. There was a month where she had nothing while waiting for Centrelink support.

No loving mum deserves to experience the heartbreak of not being able to provide the stable childhood her kids need. Legacy helps people like Melanie provide a safe and stable childhood for their children. This ANZAC Day your generous gift helps protect kids like Chloe and Max from trauma.

Initially, Legacy sent out $500 worth of Coles vouchers to Melanie. They did the same after Melanie moved which freed up some money to cover the cost. Legacy sent another $300 at Christmas which meant Melanie could purchase Chloe and Max some gifts and keep their life as normal as possible.


“The main reason I approached Legacy was so I could continue Chloe’s tutoring after the separation. She was a year and a half behind in writing, and COVID-19 obviously didn’t help with that. 

“Without Legacy covering her tutoring, Chloe’s confidence levels would be rock bottom. She used to say to me, ‘I can’t write. Mum, I can’t spell. I’m stupid. I’m an idiot’. Now she doesn’t say those things.”

Today Chloe wants to be a meteorologist, something that Melanie believes she wouldn’t have had the confidence to dream of prior to starting tutoring.

“It means the world to me that my kids can just be themselves. They can grow and have space and freedom and opportunities. Because it was really hairy there for a moment. We were going down a very, very different path and, without Legacy, we wouldn’t have come out as unscathed as we have.”

Help Legacy keep our promise

Support families like Melanie’s by donating to Legacy today.  To a struggling mother and children like Melanie, Chloe and Max, your generosity is the promise of a lifetime of support.

Melanie, Chloe and Max*

Legatees are Legacy’s most dedicated volunteers. They commit to supporting families and build deep personal relationships to help them thrive.

Legatee relationships provide relief. Knowing that there is 24/7 comfort available for families like Melanie’s when they need it.

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