Emma Rebecca Liu

Warrior

Oil on Canvas

76 X 102

Gallipoli Artprize Finalist Emma Liu

Serving Australia in the armed forces is never without cost. The consequences may not be glorious. They may make us uncomfortable. The experience of Corporal Tevita Ba Daunibau is one such example.

Tevita served for 12 years, including deployments to Timor and Afghanistan. He was wounded many times, but the greatest blow was a roadside bombing which killed his close friend and comrade. Te’s Grandmother says ‘He was never the same.’

Tevita was discharged in June, 2015. Profoundly traumatised and adrift, he joined the Rebels bikie gang. Within six months he had killed another gang member and shot himself.

PTSD and the end of service left a profoundly negative legacy. Like many before him, Tevita sought comradeship in the wrong places.

I will still remember and honour the loving warrior who served others.

Thank you, Tevita, for your service.

Let’s pay attention to the ravages of PTSD on Australian veterans.

Because not all casualties of war are on the battlefield. [i]


 

[i]8.3% of ADF members will have suffered PTSD in the last 12months (compared with 5.2% in gen pop)
Nearly half (46%) of Vets who left within 5 years experience a mental disorder. (According to a government report in April 2008)
The suicide rate of veterans is 13% higher than the general population. (www.defence.gov.au)