Westpac Helps Keep ANZAC Flame Burning
26 March 2015 at 9:36 am
The Westpac Group has donated $500,000 to kickstart a fundraising appeal for Legacy – to support programs for Australian families affected by the death or illness of a family member who has served in the Australian Defence Force.
Westpac’s donation marks the start of an ongoing fundraising appeal for Legacy which will be promoted through News Corp’s national publications.
Accepting the donation on behalf of Legacy, Mark Donaldson VC highlighted his own journey with Legacy.
“Legacy has great personal meaning for me and my family. Long before I served in the Australian Defence Force, I was a Legacy child. When my own father passed away, I was 16 and it was Legacy who stepped in to help our family. Now, I am honoured to volunteer and help others in need in my role as a Legatee,” Corporal Donaldson VC said.
“The impact of the emotional support and financial assistance which Legacy provides families affected by military service is life changing.
“I applaud any support Australians can provide to ensure Legacy can continue its vital role in the Australian community. Westpac’s $500,000 donation to Legacy is such a significant commitment and one which will go a long way to helping so many Australian families.”
Westpac CEO Brian Hartzner said the Centenary of ANZAC would give Australians the opportunity to continue to tell the stories that honour those who fought for Australia and those who supported all war efforts since World War I.
“We honour the role that so many Australians played in the ANZAC legend. As Australia’s oldest bank the impact of World War I was particularly significant for us, with over 40 per cent of our staff at the time enlisting. We pay particular homage to the 793 of our brave staff who served in uniform. Tragically 134 of them paid the ultimate price, sacrificing their lives for the nation.
“We are proud to donate $500,000 to an organisation as vital as Legacy, who support families impacted by war, and in this instance, to provide continuing support for children who are affected,” Hartzner said.
“Australia lost nearly 60,000 service personnel in World War I and in all conflicts has lost around 100,000 personnel,” Legacy Australia’s David Gray said.
“Beyond that, there have been many more that have been badly injured and their families have needed our assistance during difficult times.
“Legacy still cares for around 90,000 widows and dependents, ranging in age from ‘not yet born’ to 109.
“We have sent over 70,000 Australians on operational service since 1990 so the current and future need for Legacy is not going away.
“Contributions such as this generous gesture from Westpac will be used to benefit these families.
“We invest in their education, their social development, and if they suffer from disability. Our support is a lifelong commitment to ensure they care cared for long after their parents have passed on.”