Former Navy pilot Kate Munari was the third torchbearer off the rank as the Legacy Centenary flame passed through Canberra on August 28.
CAPTION: Vietnam veteran Ray Sunderland and former Navy pilot Kate Munari during the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023 on Anzac Parade in Canberra. Story and photos by Corporal Luke Bellman.
Ms Munari served in the Navy for 17 years as a helicopter pilot and was the only female Navy pilot to fly in Afghanistan
She has been a Legacy volunteer for six years and said it was a charity worth supporting.
“Legacy works with veteran’s families, which are sometimes forgotten, but they are an important part of the support network for veterans,” she said.
“In my service it was important to have loved ones support me throughout my career.”
A ceremony at the Australian War Memorial launched the event, at the start of Legacy Week.
The cutting of a ribbon started the Canberra leg of the relay, which involved 54 torchbearers.
CAPTION: Navy veteran Merle Hare, 103, at Legacy house lighting the flame before commencing her leg during the 2023 Legacy Centenary Torch Relay in Canberra.
They worked hand-in-hand to complete the walk, which passed through Canberra’s iconic sites including Parliament House and Government House.
Leading Aircraftwoman Dakota Sollitt nominated herself to be in the triservice escort party that followed the bearers throughout the relay.
“I feel like I have in some way helped with Legacy’s awareness and brought attention to the ADF perspective, as well, in such a high-profile event,” Leading Aircraftwoman Sollitt said.
“I learnt that the relay has travelled across the world from France, to London then to Australia.
“I’m proud to have participated and shown support to that organisation, to members, veterans and their families.”
The relay finished at Government House, where the last bearer was escorted to light the cauldron.
The Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023 has been on a six-month journey that started in Pozieres France, through London then around Australia.
The torch will travel more than 50,000km, through 100 locations, carried by more than 1000 torchbearers.
The relay will continue on through 12 locations in Victoria, three in Tasmania then its final two in Melbourne, the last location being the Shrine of Remembrance on October 13.
Legacy helps families of deceased personnel and seriously injured veterans.
It provides financial assistance, social connection services and developmental opportunities.