Our Legacy torch bearers

The Legacy Torch Relay

The relay of more than 1500 torch bearers will visit every Legacy Club in Australia between May and October 2023.

In a competition held in 2022, sixteen lucky Defence Health members and staff were selected to carry the torch for Legacy. 

We’re pleased to introduce our torch bearers. 

John Adams 

VIC member

“I’m a veteran, having served in the Army Corps of Signals as an electronics engineer for 20 years. I’m proud of the service I provided to our nation and the 100 years’ service Legacy has provided to the Defence community. I am honoured to be selected as a torch bearer for such a vital, caring organisation.”

Deborah Avery

 SA member

“I was a military wife for 22 years, I have a son, my grandfather and great grandfather also served our great country. Along the way I have lost many friends and family that have needed Legacy’s help. Being a torch bearer will mean the world to me. To carry this torch will be in honour of all the people in my life that have served.”

Kerry Daniels

NSW member

“During my defence career I participated in numerous Legacy collections. After hearing stories and seeing the benefits that Legacy has on veteran families, I recognise the importance of this wonderful organisation. I would like to assist Defence Health to raise awareness of this fantastic cause, especially with younger veterans who are largely unaware of the support networks available to them in a time of need. It will be an honour to represent Defence Health in the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay.”

Karen Ducat

WA member

“My dad was in the Australian Army in World War 2 and would be 100 years of age this year. Unfortunately, he passed away 10 years ago. I’m married to an Australian soldier who served in Vietnam and has since passed away. I am deeply conscious of the services provided by Legacy to the dependants of deceased servicemen. It will be an honour to be involved with the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay and share this experience with likeminded people. I will proudly pass on this experience to my grandchildren, one of whom is a member of the Australian naval cadets.”

Aaron Lancaster

ACT member

“My grandfather was a long-time supporter and beneficiary of Legacy, after his father’s death in France during the First World War. It will be a great privilege (to be a torch bearer) and to honour his memory this way.” 

Alexander McDonald

QLD member

“During my five years serving in the Australian Defence Force, I was fortunate to be involved with Legacy. Being a torch bearer is an incredible opportunity for me to be part of this important milestone for this incredible organisation that provides excellent support to veterans and their families.”

Claire Morgan

QLD member

“Legacy was invaluable when my husband passed away and they assisted at my husband’s funeral. Later they also helped me in reviewing my financial matters and have kept an eye on me ever since. It’s a privilege to be selected as a torch bearer and to represent Legacy and legatees in my community.”

Kia Whelan

TAS member

“My father served in the Vietnam War. Regrettably, in 1995 he passed away when I was just 9 years old. I was given the opportunity to apply for a scholarship with the Launceston Legacy to a private school in Launceston for my education from year 7 to year 12. I want to be a torch bearer to say ‘thank you’ for everything Legacy has done for me and my family and the support they continue to give to families out there.”

Our staff torch bearers

Meaghan Alves

Defence Health

“As the grandchild of a passed serviceman and servicewoman, I feel emotionally connected to Legacy and will be honoured to carry the torch. I am proud to say my grandparents both served in World War 2. This was why I joined Defence Health as a member and then later as an employee. I love that we have partnered with this great organisation, which continues to align with our values and it’s another reason I love working for Defence Health.”

Paul Beresford

Defence Health

“I want to be a torch bearer because my father is a returned serviceman from Vietnam.  I joined Defence Health because I felt I can utilise my medical and insurance knowledge to help families like mine. Defence Health’s involvement with the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay makes me extremely proud to work for a company involved in such a worthy cause. It’s a great partnership because we both support the families who support us.”

Colin Davison

Defence Health

“My father served as an engineer in Darwin in WW2. His diary entries of his mates going up in planes and not coming back again is not easily read. His medications for what we called his ‘nerves’ I suppose these days would be termed PTSD. My uncle was a Japanese prisoner of war and I can only imagine the stress on him and his family. Legacy has helped so many people and is such a respected organisation, and its work is carried out by many volunteers. I have not been a recipient of Legacy benefits. But I’d like to carry the torch as a way of saying thank you.”

Andrew Guerin

Defence Health

“I want to be a torch bearer to recognise my grandfather with whom I spent many school holidays in Wodonga whilst growing up. Upon his return from WW1, he successfully advocated for both ex-servicemen and the families of those who did not return.  He was instrumental in the establishment of the RSL in Wodonga and Legacy in the district. With a strong sense of justice, he was both fearless and compassionate in this work. He never forgot the ex-servicemen nor the families of those he left behind.”

Craig Hayes

Defence Health

“I want to be a torch bearer as this is my one big chance to give back to Legacy on behalf of my family. Legacy was there to support my grandparents many years ago. Being involved means so much and it’s my way of saying thanks. It stems from the respect I have for Legacy and for what they do for our community, so I just want to help.”

Cathy Mangiafico

Defence Health

“I want to be a torch bearer as this occasion stirred something within me. I did not want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent Defence Health through the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay. Through this event, my friends and family have a greater understanding of the important part Legacy plays in our community.”

Katrina McCormick

Defence Health

“Like Legacy, in 2023 I will also be celebrating a milestone event. It will be an honour to mark my milestone by helping Legacy celebrate their centenary. Through my own experience, I understand the invaluable role an organisation like Legacy plays when families lose someone significant. Having guaranteed physical, emotional and financial support at one of the worst moments in someone’s life, can make all the difference for those left behind. I would not have survived losing my husband without that kind of support from my communities. I want to walk to show my solidarity and support for the families who have also lost someone too soon, and the organisation that helps them through that most difficult time.”

Maitland Peters

Defence Health

“I want to be a torch bearer because I take so much pride in the work I do here in helping our members, especially those in the ADF community. I think that teaming up with Legacy allows us to expand on that and help all those who have been impacted by a loved one or themselves being part of the ADF.”