A message from RSL NSW and RSL Queensland State Presidents
On Monday 5 September, we met and discussed strategic cooperation opportunities for both States to work more collaboratively. Sharing the same brand, similar aspirations, and a core charitable purpose of supporting all veterans and their families- not just our members – it was agreed that a series of activities will be immediately pursued to support the veteran community across both States, as well as committing to exploring other strategic initiatives over the medium-term (the next 2-3 years).
The agreement addresses the following key areas:
Funding support: In order to assist RSL NSW to deliver strategic initiatives to better support veterans, RSL Queensland will provide RSL NSW with funding to the value of $2.6 million.
Aligning Services: RSL NSW, through its service provider RSL LifeCare Ltd, will explore the opportunity to collaborate with RSL QLD to deliver the RSL Employment Program and the opportunity to access established grant programs such as the Veteran Enterprise Start Up Grants.
Sustainable local fundraising: RSL Queensland will explore opportunities for sub-Branches in both States to join an affiliate program designed to boost their fundraising efforts. The affiliate program will be offered by invitation first to RSL Queensland’s more than 230 sub-Branches, before being expanded to RSL New South Wales’ more than 320 sub-Branches. It is envisaged that the program will enable sub-Branches to invest in the ongoing delivery of unique and localised support to their veteran community while ensuring the sustainability and longevity of the RSL.
Consistent care: RSL Queensland and RSL NSW will prioritise the alignment of service delivery operating models so that veterans will experience a consistent standard of care and support from State to State. This will include the interoperability of Veteran Wellbeing Centres (now referred to as Veteran and Family Hubs) and all forms of digital delivery of services and support to veterans and their families.
The ABS Census Data released earlier this year revealed that more than half of Australia’s veteran population resides in Queensland and New South Wales. Through deeper collaboration and a shared approach, RSL Queensland and RSL NSW can shape positive outcomes and enhance the support and services we offer veterans and their families, no matter where they live. This, in turn, will enable RSL Australia to stand stronger as a united advocacy voice to the Government on key veteran matters and to collaborate with other RSL State Branches.
We agree that a united RSL is a strong and relevant RSL. We see an RSL that continues to advocate for veterans, enables mateship and camaraderie and leads commemorations for all veterans in their communities. Achieving real change for veterans demands this deeper level of collaboration and partnership across the RSL network and the veteran charity sector.
RSL NSW State President Ray James, OAM
RSL Queensland State President Stephen Day, DSC, AM