It is of great concern of that the RSL National President , Major General Greg Melick (Rtd) (as reported on abc.net.au 30.03.21) has attempted to smear the great work of Ms. Julie-Ann Finney who lost her Veteran son two years ago to suicide as a result of PTSD caused by his 20 years service to his country. Ms Finney has campaigned for two years for a royal commission into veterans’ suicide. Last week both houses of Federal Parliament backed a motion to establish the Royal Commission.
Mr. Melick has reportedly stated in an email to an RSL Member, “Julia [sic] Finney has done immense damage to the cause to assuage her guilt over her failed relationship with her son and many families who did not want massive public exposure will now suffer significant trauma,”
Mr. Mellick’s statements are an indictment on all the great work Ms. Finney has achieved and also that which the RSL Sub Branches undertake in supporting Veterans and their families. Cairns and the Far North in general, know only too well the tragedy and impact that Veteran suicide has on families and the community.
The Cairns RSL Sub Branch supports the RSL Qld President, Mr. Tony Ferris, in condemning Mr. Melick. Mr Ferris posted an update to members stating “I want to be very clear that RSL Queensland and our members do not support these highly offensive and insensitive comments as reported in the media, directed to a grieving mother. She has been campaigning tirelessly since losing her veteran son to suicide and trying to bring a positive way forward for veterans,”
Your Sub Branch Board will be developing a response to Mr. Melick and in doing so will strongly urge Mr. Melick to consider his position as the National President of the RSL, as he is clearly out of touch with the membership of the RSL. Mr. Melick should stand aside and enable someone with greater understanding and compassion to lead this great organisation of ours in, Caring For Our Defence Family.
If this or other reports cause you or someone you know concerns, please do not hesitate to call, Open Arms 1800 011 046 or Lifeline 13 11 14.
Cairns RSL Sub Branch