fbpx Skip to main content

The Gavin Family

Lance Corporal Luke Gavin was a member of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) based in Townsville. He was halfway through a deployment in Afghanistan when an Afghan soldier opened fire, killing Luke and two other soldiers, and wounding several others.

Joshua Gavin was just seven years old when an army padre turned up on the family’s doorstep to deliver the heartbreaking news that his father had been killed in action while on a deployment in Afghanistan.

The Gavin Family

Simple things like going to the footy, sharing KFC for lunch, laughing and joking together will never again be enjoyed with his father. His mother, Jacky, remembers the grim initial weeks after her husband’s death. “I went on autopilot. I didn’t have much chance to fall apart, just because of the kids, but where were moments where I didn’t even want to get out of bed,” she says. “You hope it’s never going to happen to you. You don’t wish it on anybody else but it’s always in the back of your mind.”

With the help of Legacy, they’re not fighting alone.

It has now been almost nine years since Lance Corporal Luke Gavin died in Afghanistan, and every day brings a new challenge for his St Clair family. Every year, Luke’s wife and their three kids have a cake on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death on October 29, they have a small barbecue at home and release balloons.

With the help of Legacy, they’re not fighting alone.

Luke’s wife, Jacky Gavin, has nothing but praise for Legacy, especially after the bond they’ve formed with their Legatee, Eric Easterbrook. “We just hit it off. Him and his wife have accepted us with open arms,” Jacky said. “He comes over and checks on us every couple of weeks. We have a chit-chat about life and what the kids have been up to.”

Legacy has given us some amazing opportunities – their help has been massive for us.

The Gavin Family

Enter Legacy, which helped with camps for the family, meetings with other war widows for Mrs Gavin, ongoing financial assistance and lining up attendance at special events like tonight’s NRL match.

“Legacy has given us some amazing opportunities — their help has been massive for us,” Mrs Gavin said.


“I honestly can’t say a bad word about them.”

Legatee Easterbrook provides emotional and financial support to ensure Ms Gavin and her kids – Joshua, Holly and Olivia – can continue playing sport and attending school events without having to stress. “I honestly can’t say a bad word about them,” Jacky said. “Even my daughter, Holly, she just did her speech in school on Legacy. In it she said, ‘I get to spend time with people who know exactly what I am going through’.”

Olivia was just seven-months-old when Lance Corporal Gavin was killed, and only remembers her father through photographs and family anecdotes. “She doesn’t really remember anything about him,” Ms Gavin said.

Unlike the other kids at school, their father isn’t coming home.

Some days the children struggle to understand and accept that, unlike the other kids at school, their father isn’t coming home. But through the support of extended family members, Legacy and their Legatee, they’re still surrounded by strong role models.

Jacky says through her son’s transition into high school, that the entire Legacy team has been there to support his transition, particularly their Legatee. “Eric is a really good guy. He has taught my son so much.”