How A Dad Defended His Son In The ADF – And Two Other Historic Wins For Those Who Serve

‘For a son to call his father inspirational, well, there’s no greater accolade.' – Tony

“I was sitting in Sydney airport and read that the Government planned to give the ADF a pay cut in real terms. That’s my son, I thought. He serves in the RAAF and I won’t stand for this. It’s morally wrong. They protect our way of life, our culture - you have to look after them, keep them out of harm’s way. I can’t even conceive of how brave my son is. I’m so proud of him. A pay cut was an insult, and suggested our nation didn’t share this pride I had for him.  

But I only had an hour till my flight. What could I do before then? I wrote a petition and sent it to 8 Facebook friends. Then boarded my flight. By the time I got off the plane in Brisbane, it already had 250 signatures. That night, it had 1,000. We ended up with 65,000 and I delivered the petition to Tony Abbott in Canberra.

When we won and reversed the cut, my son sent me a card. Inside, it read: ‘Dad, there’s only one word I can say. Inspirational.’

It felt bloody awesome I made that difference, but I’ve got to be honest, for a son to call his father inspirational, well, there’s no greater accolade. We managed to find a voice. We had a significant influence on changing a government policy and it started with just one signature: mine.

I say to my son now: if there’s one lesson we take from this, it’s that one person really can make a difference. Never walk past a problem without trying to fix it.” Read more about Tony's win.

'It means the world to my family to know that he's alongside his fallen comrades.' – Avril

Avril successfully petitioned for peacekeepers to be recognised, on behalf of her son who was killed at just 21

"I can hardly believe it. Brendan Nelson, the War Memorial Director just phoned, saying "your son's name will be added to the honour roll" -- and I just burst into tears.

My son Jamie was killed in a peacekeeping operation just after his 21st birthday. But the War Memorial Council refused to put his name on the honour roll because he didn’t die “at war”.

I'm a little overwhelmed with emotion - for my son Jamie who died almost 8 years ago - for all the men and women who lost their lives on peacekeeping missions that finally are getting the recognition they deserve." Read more about Avril's win.

'We lay them to rest with dignity and honour, a group of heroes once forgotten' – Bob

Bob's petition brough home 25 Vietnam war heroes, including his best mate - Reg

“My good mate Reg will finally be laid to rest at Adelaide River War Cemetery, where he deserves to be; where he should’ve been 50 years ago.

When these soldiers landed home on Australian soil, at long last there could be closure for their widows, descendants and the whole veteran community. 

We lay them to rest with dignity and honour, a group of heroes once forgotten, but never again.” Read more about Bob's win.

Australians are standing up for those who serve our country. Leave a comment below about your favourite success: