Speaking last week ahead of Legacy Week 2021, which started last Saturday, August 28, Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson highlighted the vital support the Sunshine Coast Legacy group provides and encouraged the community to get behind the charity.
Starting in 1942, Legacy Week, or “Badge Week” as it is commonly known, is the annual national appeal to raise awareness of, and funds for, the families of Australian Defence Force men and women who have lost their lives or have ongoing health issues.
“The past 18 months has certainly proved challenging for our whole community and charities such as Legacy are no exception,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Despite COVID-19, our community came out to proudly support Badge Week fundraising efforts last year and I call on our community to do even better this year.
“Legacy badges may be small, but the funds they raise make a huge difference for those who have given so much and Badge Week is their key fundraising activity each year.”
Mayor Jamieson said Legacy was a source of support and advocacy for the families of Veterans – often through the most challenging time in their lives – providing long-term social, emotional, development and financial support.
Local Bli Bli widow, and mother of two, Supranee Radosevich’s husband passed away in 2010 from cancer, after having served as a United Nations Peacekeeper in East Timor.
Sunshine Coast Legacy Group reached out to Mrs Radosevich in 2016 with funding assistance to support the education of her two children, Chloe and Jayden (now aged 14 and 13).
“The support I received from Legacy has been wonderful and it’s had a really positive impact on my children’s future,” Mrs Radosevich said.
“Helping out with Badge Week fundraising is a way of giving back and saying thank you for the support my family has received.”
Mrs Radosevich has supported Legacy by selling badges every year since and will this year be joined by her children.
Legacy’s clientele includes an increasing number of young incapacitated veterans, widows and families impacted by deployments such as East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sunshine Coast Legacy has around 40 volunteers who support nearly 900 Legacy clients, including children and people with a disability.
Legacy Sunshine Coast Chairman Lee Shimbel said that the focus on the Sunshine Coast was to ensure that the partners and children of veterans who gave their lives or health in military service are supported to achieve their full potential.
“These families have already been through so much, watching their loved ones leave the safety of our shores to serve our country, with many never returning or others returning bearing the physical or mental scars of war,” Mr Shimbel said.
“We believe these families should not be at a disadvantage and we are helping young families at an increasing rate, nurturing children’s education by contributing towards school fees, books, uniforms and recreational activities such as our annual Youth Camp to support their self-development and confidence.
“We also assist older widows through pension advocacy, counselling, special housing, medical needs and social support.
“While we are already supporting many widows and families, there are many more who desperately need our support.”
Community members are encouraged to support Sunshine Coast Legacy Group and “Buy a Badge” during Legacy Week from Saturday, August 28 to Sunday, September 5 from many Sunshine Coast locations including shopping centres, markets and RSL Clubs.
All locations and online donation details are available on Legacy’s Sunshine Coast’s Facebook page facebook.com/LegacySunshineCoast/.