Mother tells veteran suicide inquiry ADF failed to support family after son’s death

Patricia Fernandez de Viana says the defence force blocked her at every turn, including refusing to pay for the air transfer of her son’s body

The mother of a 26-year-old flying officer who died by suicide broke down repeatedly as she recounted the catastrophic impact of losing her “beautiful boy” and the callous treatment by the Australian Defence Force, which sent her into a spiral of desperation and alcoholism.

Patricia Fernandez de Viana said when she first learned her son James had killed himself at the Edinburgh RAAF Base in South Australia in the early hours of 25 July 2019, she had begged them to leave her son’s room untouched before she got there.

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Category: Mental Health