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Some months ago now, I was saddened and angered to learn that the eldest son of, perhaps, Australia's most revered and well known WW2 hero, Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop, had fallen foul of a dishonest mortgage broker in Melbourne and that the very farm that "Weary" had purchased decades before in the Yarra Ranges had been repossessed by Perpetual Limited under the most regrettable circumstances.

At the time of the mortgage in 2005 or thereabouts, Alexander Dunlop, had been suffering from a mental illness for many years and had not worked for decades. His only source of income was a disability pension.  Sadly, these facts were not deemed of note by NAP Finance nor the lender, Perpetual Limited. The fact that this could so readily have occurred raises many regulatory and governance issues, which still have currency today, with growing calls for a Royal Commission into the banking and financial services sectors.

Inevitably, Alexander was in no position to service the loan from Perpetual Limited and legal proceedings were commenced to repossess his share of the farm. At the conclusion of the very costly litigation between Perpetual and the Dunlop family, a settlement was reached whereby Alexander was left penniless. From 2008 onwards, he lived in an aged care facility and died in 2014.

The mortgage broker's conduct was, of course, outrageous but what I find particularly galling is that Perpetual Limited, who are one of Australia's largest fund managers and oldest trustee company, chose to completely ignore Alexander Dunlop's obvious disabilities and financial circumstances, and instead focused solely on recovery of the debt, with no regard for the consequences to him nor the Dunlop family. John Dunlop, the surviving son of "Weary" Dunlop, firmly believes that Perpetual Limited destroyed his brother's life.

In the face of Perpetual Limited's conduct and in acknowledgement of Sir "Weary" Dunlop's selfless service and commitment to POWs both during and after WW2, a grateful nation demands:

A) An immediate public apology to the Dunlop family from the Board and CEO of Perpetual Limited

B) Financial compensation for all costs associated with the mortgage from Perpetual Limited, such that the Dunlop family's finances would be restored to that prior to the mortgage

The articles below provide additional detail in regard to the circumstances surrounding Perpetual Limited's treatment of Alexander Dunlop and the Dunlop family and also that of the mortgage broker.

Court win for disabled couple


 State Funeral for "Weary" Dunlop

"Weary" Dunlop heirs face eviction

Family sues broker

"Weary" family pin hopes on old mail

Hidden firms who repossess homes exposed