“War really is futile and we haven’t really learned from it. We need to support those that make the ultimate sacrifice.”

Known for his highly successful AFL football and media career, our Patron Graham Cornes OAM is committed to helping us drive action into improving the health and wellbeing of those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us.

Graham knows only too well the sacrifices these men and women serving our country make – he was one of them. Drafted under the National Service Act, Graham served two years in the Australian Army, including a tour of duty with 7RAR as an infantry soldier in South Vietnam in 1970.

Graham feels the sacrifices, both physical and psychological, made by our armed service and emergency first responders are unique and significant. He says the trauma experienced by these committed men and women impacts more than just their own lives, but also those of their families.

“I never want anyone to forget that some of these people make the supreme sacrifice, and sometimes for nothing,” Graham said.

“We’re still at war and this is why the work of The Repat Foundation – The Road Home is so important. We need to continue to support projects looking at improving the health and wellbeing of the people who make these sacrifices to protect our community.

“It is these sacrifices that motivated me to accept the role as Patron of The Repat Foundation – The Road Home. Unless you’ve been a soldier, then you don’t know just
how dangerous it is and how hard it is.”

Graham is hopeful The Road Home will continue to expand on a national level, reaching out to more people and providing a greater chance at improved research, resources and support services on a large scale.

“The work that is supported here is so vital. For decades,
it was just swept under the carpet,” Graham said.

“My grandfather was wounded badly at Gallipoli and was evacuated and repatriated. It then affected his relationship with his son, my father, and I put it down simply to the trauma that my grandfather suffered in the war. It rendered him virtually unable to relate to his son, so from a personal experience I know how important research is in this area.

“Today, things are getting better and this is because of research and awareness. Observing people around me who have served and seeing improvement in their lifestyle and their wellbeing after they get the support and assistance they deserve; that makes it all worthwhile.”


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