Australian of the Year David Morrison attends an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Flag Raising event in Canberra on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.
Australian of the Year David Morrison attends an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Flag Raising event in Canberra on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. AAP Image - Mick Tsikas

Soldiers group backs Australian of Year amid backlash

THE backlash against former army chief David Morrison's appointment as Australian of the Year has prompted support from the founder and CEO of returned soldiers charity Walking Wounded.

Brian Freeman said the former lieutenant-general had been criticised unfairly, noting his unwavering support for soldiers and their families over many years.

"Following a 40-year career serving for our country, David is a well deserving recipient of the Australian of the Year title," Mr Freeman said.

"David oversaw some of the worst years our defence personnel have ever endured, and I can guarantee experiences like that aren't quickly forgotten or dismissed."

Defence groups slammed Mr Morrison for calling for Australia to become a republic during his acceptance speech, rather than raising military issues.


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