Whistleblower rewarded for courage after 14 years of hell
DEFENCE force whistleblower Nathan Moore will today receive a Gold Commendation for bravely taking a stance that has dragged him and his family to some of the lowest points in their lives.
The presentation will vindicate Mr Moore's refusal to turn a blind eye to illicit drug use at the Royal Australian Air Force Amberley Base where he was stationed in 2002.
His revelations of illegal activity led to his identity as a whistleblower being revealed.
He was called a liar, threatened with death and severely bashed in his defence force-supplied home in 2002.
His jaw was broken and he still is on a soft food diet as a result of difficulty chewing.
It took a huge toll on the Leading Aircraftman, who developed post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. He still suffers anxiety attacks and has trouble being in public.
"I swore an oath to uphold the laws of this country, which I took seriously," Mr Moore said.
He received a formal letter of appreciation for his bravery in 2004 from then Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Angus Houston, who acknowledged he took a courageous step in reporting the drug use.
The letter also detailed Air Marshal Houston's regret that his actions resulted in considerable stress and injury.
A new letter, received earlier this month from current Chief of Air Force Leo Davies, went much further by way of apology. It detailed the ways in which Mr Moore had been failed by the air force between 2002 and 2004.
Air Marshal Davies apologised for the way in which Mr Moore was managed. He said the qualities displayed by Mr Moore in 2002 were now actively taught to personnel.
"The Bystander Behaviour Program focuses on teaching all our personnel that 'the standard you walk by is the standard you accept'," the letter read.
"It is my hope that, as a result of this program, all of our air force personnel will have the courage to make the choice that you made."
Mr Moore, who grew up on the Sunshine Coast, believed defence had for years tried to sweep his case under the carpet.
"Pretty much now the carpet has been ripped up and look what's underneath, the truth," Mr Moore said.
"14 years of my life have been taken away from me. I've thought about what I did as a young serviceman. I thought 'look what I did and look what happened'.
"Now it is proven vindication."
He is looking forward to receiving today his Gold Commendation as well as a Bronze Commendation badge for his actions in a traffic incident in 2002.
His wife Tamie Moore will be by his side for the ceremony at Sandgate RSL.
She has been with Mr Moore for the past seven years, having met him on the Sunshine Coast. They married in August last year.
She said she had come in "half way through" his ordeal.
"It has been absolute hell but my husband Nathan, I believe he has this integrity about him," Mrs Moore said.
"He has this inner strength I don't think he even knew about. I'm just so proud of him."
She too saw the letter and medal as vindication.
She said she would be "grinning like a monkey" for the ceremony.
"I think it will be a huge weight off our shoulders once they pin that medal on his chest," she said.