This year, Legacy Australia celebrated a century of service, honouring their commitment to supporting Australian veterans and their families since 1923. To commemorate this milestone, the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay embarked on a 50,000km journey, featuring over 1,500 Torch Bearers, including representatives from Thales Australia as the Principal Partner.
The journey commenced in Pozieres, France, where the Mayor, Monsieur Dominique Bierwald, and Eric Easterbrook, Chairman of Legacy, emphasised the charity's founding promise and the ongoing need for support. Australia’s Assistant Minister for Defence and Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, The Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite highlighted Legacy's crucial role in veteran support, commending the legatees for their tireless efforts.
The Torch Bearers, led by LT Col Anthony Birch, carried the flame through poignant moments, including the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux. Thales Australia representatives, Mark Hilton, Andy Kirkpatrick OAM, and Nick de Bont, participated in solemn ceremonies, reflecting on Australia's military history.
The journey continued to the Menin Gate Memorial in Leper, Belgium, where buglers played The Last Post in remembrance. Thales Australia's Andy Kirkpatrick OAM stood as a Torch Bearer alongside dignitaries’ Dr Brendon Nelson and Australian Military Representative to NATO, Major General Matthew Hall.
A surprise meeting with His Majesty King Charles III in London marked a memorable encounter, with Thales Australia's Dan Keighran, VC, participating in the Torch Relay through the city's cordoned streets. The relay culminated in the Legacy Centenary Gala Ball, where Dr Brendon Nelson acknowledged Thales Australia's significant and long-standing support.