Rohan Goyne is following a trail reaching back into history - and documents from the National Archives are helping him on his way.
On his quest to find missing pieces of the story about his late grandfather's military service, he has found the soldier was entitled to two previously-unissued medals.
Now he's searching for evidence to find out whether Thomas Cecil Goyne should have received another medal, the African Star.
Mr Goyne said a set of military documents within the National Archives has given momentum to the search - and show why the Canberra institution should receive the funding it needs to preserve Australia's history.
"I was reading his hand-written entries in his paybooks. It was connecting me to him and what he was doing for the country," he said.
The six-pointed African Star made of yellow copper zinc alloy is granted for service in North Africa from June 1940 to May 1943, and for service during the Syrian Campaign between June and July 1941.
Based on his grandfather's service in the Middle East, Mr Goyne believes the soldier may have been entitled to the medal, and after talking to the Department of Veterans' Affairs is looking for the evidence.
The paybooks - which the National Archives gave him as digital copies - has kept Mr Goyne's search going.
$68 million seems a small amount in a monetary sea of budget spending.Rohan Goyne
Air Force records from the Archives were also the evidence needed to confirm his uncle, Alan Kenneth Goyne, was entitled to two unissued medals for his service in World War II before his death in a training exercise in 1943.
The federal budget this month did not include $67.7 million in funding recommended in a recent review by the former Finance Department secretary David Tune.
The Archives has responded by asking the public for donations to help digitise its at-risk records.
Mr Goyne said the Archives should receive government funding needed to save records.
"I find it perplexing that we can't preserve our history, and once those things are gone, they're gone," he said.
"As a young nation, it's even more imperative that we protect our history."
Mr Goyne said "truckloads" of government money was being spent elsewhere.
"$68 million seems a small amount in a monetary sea of budget spending."
Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General Amanda Stoker said the government was considering the Tune Review recommendations that can be achieved within existing funding. The government will consider additional funding for the National Archives "as part of usual budget processes", she said.
"The government is also exploring with the National Archives opportunities for a phased approach to achieve the review's objectives," Senator Stoker said.
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