A Hardman to stop

Anyone familiar with the Returned and Services League knows that sub-Branches are its heart and members are its lifeblood.

Building on the common bond of military service, it’s at this level that veterans band together to serve those who need it most among the veteran community.

An Award recently given at the Forestville RSL sub-Branch in Sydney’s north provides insight into the calibre of leadership and demonstration of excellence that is replicated among the RSL NSW membership.

In February, Bill Hardman OAM was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation “for distinguished service and outstanding leadership to RSL NSW” by Forestville sub-Branch Patron and World War II veteran Don Kennedy OAM.

Bill, who is a Life Member of the League, was recognised for leadership at the sub-Branch, District and State level where he has been:

  • Committee Member, Secretary (2003-2004) and President (2004-17) of Forestville RSL sub-Branch
  • President (2008-2011 & 2014-2022) and Vice President (2011-2014) of Northern Beaches District Council
  • State Councillor of RSL NSW (2008-2011 & 2014-2016)
  • State Treasurer of RSL NSW (2016-2017)

Commenting on the Award, Forestville sub-Branch President Bob Lunnon said Bill has always had an unwavering focus on the welfare of veterans whether it be meeting their needs in terms of advocacy, pensions advice, assistance with welfare issues or other practical help.

A veteran of the Borneo and Malaya campaigns, Bill joined the League in 1978 and played an important role in developing the 2019 RSL NSW Constitution and introduction of Standard Operating Procedures.

In October 2020 Bill underwent an esophagectomy which continues to have an effect on his health. Bill accepted the Certificate of Appreciation with his wife Judy, a member of the RSL Auxiliary Forestville, who was presented with a Letter of Appreciation. At the District Council AGM on 15 March, Bill announced his retirement from office.

Image: Don Kennedy OAM (left) presents the Certificate of Appreciation to Bill Hardman OAM with his wife Judy