The Australian defence industry has paid tribute to defence personnel, frontline workers, and the efforts of Legacy Australia as the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023 passes through Bendigo in Victoria.

The six-month Legacy Centenary Torch Relay travelled through Bendigo on Thursday, 21 September, with runners attending the Bendigo Legacy Club as one of the 45 Legacy Club locations on the journey before concluding in Melbourne on 13 October this year.

The relay aims to raise more than $10 million to support the families of Australian Defence Force men and women who lost their lives or health in conflict.

Australian Defence Apparel (ADA) chief executive officer Chris Dixon spoke at the conclusion of the Bendigo leg of the relay.

“We have clothed millions of personnel, and the needs of our frontline workers are at the heart of everything we do,” he said at the event.

“It has been humbling to work with Legacy, who are equally as dedicated to our national heroes and been at the forefront of caring for the families of those who have fallen.

“It is an extremely unique privilege but also seems natural that we have supplied uniforms for each of the 1,500 plus torch bearers participating in the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay.

“Just as we have done for those on the frontlines, we have designed and tailored these uniforms to ensure optimum comfort, style, and performance, as they have been supporting our torch bearers in the 55,000-kilometre journey from France to Australia.”

ADA, a corporate partner of Legacy Australia, has designed, manufactured and supplied the uniforms for over 1,500 torch bearers for the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023. The company’s 5,775-square metre dedicated uniform manufacturing facility in Bendigo produces more than 600,000 garments per year and employs more than 120 textile specialists.

ADA head of design and product development manager Melinda Suares said it originally took around five months from initial design concepts to deliver the Torch Relay uniforms.

“It is a true honour to have personally worn a uniform that I designed alongside ADA CEO Chris Dixon to represent ADA as torch bearers for the Bendigo leg of the relay, at a place where Bendigo holds so much significance for ADA,” Suares said.

“The key element of the design was showcased through a sublimated print. The centenary torch logo was an essential part of this uniform design, incorporating the red and blue hues from the logo.

“The design is then complimented with intertwining strips that emerge upon the Legacy logo on the chest.

“The light green and blue stripes form two helping hands, which touch the end of the torch relay logo. This represents (the) unity and harmonious help both Legacy and Defence Health do to support veterans and their families with stability, guidance, and care.

“It was about capturing the true essence of Legacy and what the foundation was all about. Understanding the meaning behind the 100-year centenary torch relay was important in the initial design concept stage.”

Robert Doherty – Defence Connect