DEFENCE LIVES MATTER

All ADF personnel killed, injured or wounded in service or as a result of service, deserve recognition for their service and/or their death. 

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Honour those Killed-In-Service, Injured or Wounded in Service or as a result of service!

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Story telling is important to our nation. As Australians, we do this through our honours and awards system. We award medals to athletes to celebrate their sporting achievements and to those who have excelled in academia and community service. We award bravery medals to everyday citizens who risk their lives for others. We honour Defence families with a Next of Kin Remembrance pin. Yes, we also award medals, citations, clasps and commendations to Australian Defence Members for their dedication in their workplaces.  BUT of those Killed, Injured or Wounded in service or as a result of service, we do not officially personalise their sacrifice or conclude their record of service on their medals.  And it is those medals that tell the story of their service and sacrifices for the Nation. 

 

Acknowledging their Personal Sacrifice is the Right thing to do! 

HONOUR THE FALLEN

 

Example of PETITION LETTER:

 

Write your own opinion or copy and paste this below and submit with your response;

"I would like the Australian Government to award a Killed-in-Service (KIS) CLASP (or other category clasp) on the campaign medal or on the most appropriate service medal of all Australian Defence Force (ADF) members killed on war-like, non-war like operations and/or during general service.

(I would also like to see medallic recognition for those wounded and injured in service (DVA ‘accepted health conditions’ cardholders), and First Responders Killed-In-Service. ”

 

I acknowledge the efforts of WO1 (Rtd) Kerry Danes who initiated this campaign and feel that he should be consulted in the final decision on the award. He can be contacted at kerrydanes@gmail.com

Please write to the Minister to express your support and include a return postal address for a response.

The Hon. Darren Chester MP
Minister of Veteran Affairs
Email: darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au

 

A Short History of the Killed-In-Service Campaign

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Why a CLASP and not a new medal? 
 

The CLASP is the most versatile, cost effective and inclusive way of accurately reflecting the service and sacrifice of individuals. The CLASP is the concept of Kerry Danes but the artwork was produced by Mr. Ben Doyle Cox, CEO/Director of Platypus Outdoors Group Pty Ltd. His support is greatly appreciated. 

The medallic clasp acknowledges the sacrifices of ALL the fallen— 104,000+ names of ADF personnel listed on the Australian War Memorial, and could also recognise DVA ‘accepted health conditions’ cardholders. The issue of a medallic clasp is a standard process in the ADF and prevents commentators from using cost as a justification to prohibit its introduction, or limit the number of ADF members eligible to receive recognition. It is a more logical approach than striking a ‘new medal’ that would require extensive marketing, exuberant cost, and gazetting into policy around honours and awards. Cost is important to this conversation as the cost savings could be better used to support other Defence and Veteran related causes.

Our Numbers

 

Change.org Petition: 15,735 (24 Mar 2021)

https://www.change.org/p/australian-defence-members-first-responders-killed-in-service


Original petition at Causes.com has over 31,543 signatures. 
https://www.causes.com/causes/204480-australian-national-campaign-recognising-defence-members-first-responders-killed-in-service

 

Combined we have close to 50,000 signatures supporting this campaign (as at 22/04/18).

 

TIMELINE:

On 12 June 1996,  two Black Hawk helicopters collided during a terrorism night-time exercise near Townsville, Queensland. The accident caused the death of 18 soldiers from 1 Squadron of the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) and 5th Aviation Regiment combined.  Following the accident, 14 personnel received varying awards for actions at the accident site, including several who were injured. However, in the absence of a formal process, no one received any form of recognition for being injured or killed-in-service.

 

SASR Sergeant Major Kerry Danes was among those tasked by the SASR Commanding Officer to rebuild the 1 SAS Squadron. With the loss of his colleagues weighing on his mind and the belief that ultimate sacrifice should be recorded on the member’s medal set to conclude their record of service, Kerry Danes initiated a campaign to recognise ADF personnel killed, wounded or injured on war-like, non-war like and/or hazardous service. That campaign evolved over the last 25 years to inspire dozens of other submissions from Veteran Organisations to become the catalyst for the current Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal.

 

Kerry Danes’ original conceptual designs created varying clasps with a black wattle adorning the most appropriate medal of the deceased ADF member. At the time, the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM), the Australian Service Medal (ASM) and the specific campaign medal were the most appropriate medals. Since then, however, the AASM and the ASM have been superseded by the Operational Service Medal (OSM). The Defence Service Medal (DSM) has been introduced for those who have enlisted in the ADF but have not been issued medals. These clasps show the versatility and inclusiveness of the each of the categories that apply to military service, and are a cost effective mechanism to recognising service-related sacrifice to complete the story of the ADF member’s military service.


In 2009, Kerry and Kay Danes submitted a proposal to Federal MP Andrew Laming for a Next of Kin Pin that was introduced to recognise the NOK’s support for a member of the Australian Army. A Remembrance Pin was also issued as a symbol for the families of all Army members who have died while in service, both domestically and on operations. Navy and Airforce already had bereavement pins issued. In this year, we also saw bipartisan support from both sides of Government. Andrew Laming MP (LNP) and Luke Gosling MP (ALP) stand firmly in support of this campaign. 

In 2019, Minister Darren Chester (LNP) tasked a Defence Council of Women and Defence Families to consider our submission and give feedback to him. Thus bringing us to 2021, and the call for submissions to the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal.
 

Today we decide how an ADF member’s service history will be remembered. The Killed-In-Service Clasp clearly defines they did not grow old …nor the years condemn.

 

It’s their Service, and their Sacrifice!