We recently attended a luncheon held by Gold Coast Legacy, a newly formed partner of the College. Legacy specialises in helping to care for family members of those who have lost partners serving their country for the Australian Defence Force.
In Term One, Somerset teamed up with Legacy and the First XV squad spent a Saturday cleaning up a war widow’s backyard in Mudgeeraba.
Legacy helps people young and old with a range of services including financial and physical aid.
Our venue for the luncheon was HOTA, Home Of The Arts, where we listened to a variety of speakers who helped us better understand the role of Gold Coast Legacy and the impact of war. In fact, the guest speaker, Dr Brendan Nelson spoke about how the Australian War Memorial is a place of ‘love’ not ‘war’. Upon reflection, this made sense. The memorial exists to reflect and remember those fallen in war and at the same time, it represents the love for your mates, love for your family and love of your country.
In an amazing speech, Dr Nelson explored themes such as mateship, courage, honour and character, shedding light and his knowledge of these topics. He spoke about how the loss of family members to war affected others, and how important it is to assist not only financially, but psychologically too. Many family members can suffer from hidden trauma long after the years of their loved ones passing.
We found Dr Nelson’s speech to be the highlight of the afternoon and we were hooked from the start. His 40 minute talk happened too quickly. There are many lessons to be learnt from wars and we hope our MYP studies next year will help us understand and gain a deeper appreciation.
Another fortunate opportunity happened when we met Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, who received the Victoria Cross for acts of bravery in very recent wartime. Is he tall?! We did not realise how special the moment was until Mr Walker indicated, "It’s not too often you get to meet a person who has received the Victoria Cross."
To conclude, we all had an experience we will never forget and more importantly, we now better understand the role of Legacy in our community. We look forward to working alongside them in future backyard clean-ups. Mr Walker, thank you for this amazing opportunity!
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