This is my much-loved son, David. David loved his 20-year career in the Royal Australian Navy. On February 1 2019, my David took his own life after a crippling battle with Post-Traumatic Stress injury.
He desperately wanted to stay alive, but David was failed by a broken system that is seeing more than one veteran a week take their own life. More than one death a week. That’s why I am calling for an urgent Royal Commission into veteran suicide rates.
This petition is about the systemic failures the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), who had numerous opportunities to save my son and they failed. David was just one of too many veterans losing their battle with PTSD. This failure has created a whole new warzone for our veterans, one they can’t come home from.
The people at ADF and DVA want to help, but their hands are tied by protocols and procedures. They are bogged down in paperwork and do nothing for the well-being of those that seek their help. Since WWI, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and families and friends have been asking for a Royal Commission into the systemic failures that result in the suicide of our veterans.
I don't want to be the mother that fights for a Royal Commission and I don't want to be the mother that has lost her child, but in their own words: my hands are tied. I will not stop until we see action by our Government. I owe it not only to my amazing son, David but to all veterans and their families.
This is a national tragedy, and something needs to be done about it.
I call on the Australian Government to establish a Royal Commission with wide terms of reference to examine and make recommendations regarding the Australian Veteran suicide rate and what can be done in practical terms to address this tragic situation.
If you agree that this is a national crisis that needs to end - please, sign and share this petition.
Julie-Ann Finney, proud mother of Dave Stafford Finney.
If you or someone you know needs help, please phone Lifeline on 131 114, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
This petition was originally started by Phil Essam.