News

The woman advocating for a Royal Commission into Veteran Suicides

November 18, 2019

You might recall that earlier this year I gave a condolence speech in the Assembly to pay tribute to Dave Finney. 

Dave was proud of his military service. And he also spoke honestly and candidly about the costs and sacrifices of serving. His medals weren't free.

At the end of my speech I said that Dave's story cannot be over. And the person who has helped make sure of that is his mum, Julie-Ann Finney.

She has been determined and unwavering in her desire to get a Royal Commission into Veteran Suicides.

Back in March, I was the first politician Julie-Ann spoke to.

Since then, she has met with countless politicians, including the Minister for Veterans Affairs Darren Chester (several times) and the Prime Minister. Her petition has 260,000 signatories. She is a constant presence in the media. The Daily Telegraph has started a Save Our Heroes series and recently held a summit for mothers of veterans who had committed suicide.

Tara with Julie-Ann Finney.

I got a chance to catch up with Julie-Ann last week when she was in town for another series of meetings with politicians. She'll be back again next week, knocking on more doors.

We're smiling in this photo, but this hasn't been easy for Julie-Ann. She still won't let herself grieve. But she is the most determined person I have ever met.

Dave's story cannot be over. And it's not.

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Veterans 360: 1800 838 360
Open Arms: 1800 011 046