The campaign for a Royal Commission into Veterans Suicide took a big step forward today when Julie-Ann Finney, proud mother of Dave Stafford Finney met Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other mothers of military veterans lost to suicide.
CAPTION: Nikki Jamieson, mother of Daniel Garforth, Colleen Pillen, mother of Michael John Powers, Glenda Weston, mother of Bradley Carr, Julie-Ann Finney, mother of Dave Stafford Finney, and Jan Hewitt, mother of Brock Hewitt, at the Daily Telegraph’s Save our Heroes Summit in Sydney. Karen Bird (not pictured), mother of Jesse Bird, also attended. Photo from Mrs Finney’s change-org update.
Julie-Ann Finney said that at today’s meeting, Prime Minister Morrison told the mothers that a Royal Commission was not off the table.
“He said money is not the issue, and he asked for six months to see if a Royal Commission is feasible,” Ms Finney said.
“It’s a big step in the right direction, but we’re not there yet.
“I thanked the PM for taking the time to see us, and I thank him for the initiatives and improvements already underway.
“I also thanked him for announcing a royal commission when he does so.
“But, while I am grateful to have met with the PM, we can’t wait six months – this crisis is affecting the lives of veterans and their families every day.
“But, I see this a step in the right direction.”
Later in the day, at the Save our Heroes Summit organised by the Daily Telegraph, Mrs Finney and other bereaved mothers shared their stories of loss, of trauma, and a broken system.
“And we were heard,” Mrs Finney said in a statement on change.org
“Acting NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs Geoff Lee announced NSW’s support for a Royal Commission.”
Seeking support for her petition for a Royal Commission into veteran suicides, which now has more than 250,000 signatures, Mrs Finney said, “We need to show the PM that people all around Australia desperately want this Royal Commission”.
“This Monday, on Remembrance Day, we will stand with veterans and their families. We will gather peacefully around the country and observe the minutes silence, and we will honour those lost, by calling for a Royal Commission.
“Please, will you stand with me, and these other amazing women who also had to bury their children after losing them to this crisis?
“Will you stand up for those who have given so much to their country?”
“[I’m] never giving up.”
If you haven’t already, please consider signing Julie-Ann Finney’s petition calling for a Royal Commission into veteran suicides.
My two cents on why a Royal Commission should be convened…