Real Stories

Real Stories

The Commando Welfare Trust delivers direct support to Australian soldiers, veterans and family members dealing with the daily challenges created by war.  

The trauma of losing a loved one or living with a debilitating injury creates ongoing hardships which can last a lifetime.

Although there are many services available, they do not provide the level of assistance required to overcome the emotional and financial difficulties these Australians invariably face.

We provide these Australians with emergency funding and long-term financial support where the system cannot.

These are their stories.

Corporal Tim Pereira

In 2012, on his second tour in Afghanistan, Tim Pereira was paralysed from the neck down, resulting in lifelong financial and emotional stress for Tim and his family.

The majority of Tim’s military pension goes towards paying off his mortgage and the 24/7 medical care he needs, which places a large strain on his family.

The Commando Welfare Trust has been funding Tim’s mortgage since 2019 and has vowed to repay the whole amount.

Gwen Cherne

On February 6th 2017, Gwen Cherne’s husband, Sergeant Peter Jon Cafe, a decorated member of Australia’s Second Commando Regiment, took his life in the garage of the family home.

Sergeant Cafe had served his country in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor, living in constant threat in the midst of war zones and bloody conflict.

The Commando Welfare Trust has been providing support to Gwen Cherne and the three children she had with Sergeant Cafe to ensure they can maintain a quality of life that isn’t burdened by financial hardship.

Bree Till

On the 19th March 2009, Bree Till’s husband, Sergeant Brett Till, was killed while disarming a Taliban Improvised Explosive Device.

Brett’s death has caused many complications for Bree, the child the two shared, Ziggy, and, Brett’s older children, Jacob and Taleah, who she was taking care of.

The Commando Welfare Trust provides Bree, and the children Brett left behind, with the ongoing support needed to navigate the daily challenges associated with losing a father and a husband to war.

Taraidh Colquhoun

In May 2023, an Australian Special Forces veteran, Taraidh Colquhoun, suffered severe injuries in a mountain bike accident, which required surgery to restore a break in the C6-7 of his spine.

Taraidh is now out of the induced coma and is breathing on his own once again. There is some movement in his arms, but it appears that he may not regain the use of his legs.

Since the injury, the Commando Welfare Trust has been providing emergency support to Taraidh and his family and will continue to provide long-term assistance as they tackle the life-long challenges associated with a debilitating spinal injury.