"If governments took this issue seriously, would I still have my boy?"
Submitted by Julie-Ann Finney, 9 June 2020
Re: Hand on Heart, the Veterans’ Covenant is an insult to veterans
Thank you so much for an article that tells it like it is. I am very concerned about everything this government is failing to do for veterans. Everything they put out is designed to placate and stonewall those of us fighting for change.
The new “rolling commission” promises to investigate every new veteran suicide from the time the Commissioner is appointed. Excuse me, don’t we have enough suicides to investigate, do we really need more? How dare this government think that the investigation of future suicides is helpful – we need to stop them, not wait for them. The ADF is the only employer in Australia with a suicide rate of one a week. Could you imagine if this was Coles or Woolworths (approx. The same size as ADF)?
In addition to the Rolling Commission, the government will do a one-off review into past suicides. We have had many reviews, recommendations, committees, etc. None have made a difference.
We need to investigate past suicides to have legal findings that veterans can rely on. We need to change the culture from recruitment and then throughout the life of our heroes. We have been asking for a Royal Commission into veteran suicides for 100 years, and the time is now.
Your article is on point, I will not give up this fight until we have that RC, because like every mother, I will fight for my child. If this government or even previous governments took the issue seriously, would I still have my boy?
I will never know.
(proud mother of David – Dave - Finney)