The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay is a six-month campaign to pay homage to and acknowledge veterans’ families, saluting their sacrifice.
On Monday 30 August, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia His Excellency, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Mrs Linda Hurley met with Legacy Junior Emily Johnson to mark the National Legacy Week Launch 2021.
Hosted by Channel 7 journalist and Army Reserve Captain Mark Beretta, it was the first time in Legacy’s history the launch was held virtually.
Legacy Week has been running since the 1940s and is a time for Australians to show their support for the widows and children whose loved ones have served our country.
His Excellency, who has been a Legacy Patron for two years and previously involved in the organisation as the 38th Governor of NSW, said it was a “great honour” to be part of the launch.
“I can’t think of an organisation in Australia that speaks more of what Australia is about and who we are than Legacy,” His Excellency said.
“In difficult times for the nation, after both world wars in particular, when society is traumatised and thinking about what the future looks like, here we had this solid organisation that has been there every year…for members of defence families,” he added.
At the launch, Ms Johnson spoke of her experience with Legacy, following the death of her father – East-Timor and Afghanistan Veteran, Sergeant Adam Connell.
“A week or two after my dad’s funeral, everyone who was supporting us…had all started to fade away, and we had to get back to normal life, and that’s when Legacy stepped in,” she said.
“It’s the little things – a phone call to have a chat, a catch up for coffee – [Legacy] are just there we need them the most.”
Ms Johnson, who was in her third year of university when her father passed away, spoke of Legacy’s support during her studies.
“I was under a lot of pressure and had a lot going on, and I was worried financially,” she said.
“I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship through Westpac, which they offer to Legacy members, and Legacy also helped provide funds for me to purchase books.
“It’s those little things that make a big impact in our life.”
Before His Excellency officially launched Legacy Week, Mrs Hurley performed a touching musical tribute, highlighting the history of Legacy and how Legacy supports the families of our veterans.
The launch would usually take place at the Australian War Memorial, however, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event was unable to proceed.
As expected, fundraising efforts for Legacy Week have also been heavily impacted for a second consecutive year by the cancellation of face-to-face fundraising.
However, the work of Legacy’s mission continues – helping to provide financial and social support for the families of veterans during times of hardship and grief.
View the full launch here.