How will the Young Veterans Committee support younger veterans in 2024?

RSL NSW Young Veterans Committee members reflect on the year that was and share their plans for engaging young veterans into the future.

At a glance:

  • The RSL NSW Young Veterans Committee was formed in 2021 to engage young veterans through collaboration between fellow veterans and RSL NSW.
  • The Committee, comprising seven members, represents regional and metropolitan NSW sub-Branches and a range of Defence experience.
  • The Chair, Secretary and fellow members reflect on their achievements in 2023, and how they plan to support young veterans going forward.

When the RSL NSW Young Veterans Committee (YVC) formed two years ago, its primary goal was to advise the RSL NSW Board about issues relevant to younger cohorts of veterans.

The YVC comprises young veterans from across NSW, led by Chair Kane Hall. Volunteer secretary Amanda Curby, whose partner is a serving Defence member, brings a partner perspective along with her skills. 

Some of the founding members of the Committee have moved on – including inaugural Chair Sarah Watson, who is now an RSL NSW Director, and last year’s Chair Bronte Pollard, who continues to serve our community as RSL NSW Liaison Officer at the National Centre for Veterans’ Healthcare (NCVH) at Concord Hospital.

Three new members have joined the YVC ranks, eager to drive change.

By collaborating with the RSL NSW Board, the YVC’s strategic goal remains championing and propelling the prerogatives of young veterans within the state and sub-Branches.

Reaching out to young veterans who aren’t currently engaged with RSL NSW helps the Committee identify the support systems they need, and advise the Board on the initiatives to attract and engage young veterans, per the RSL NSW Strategic Plan 2021-2026.

Current members of the YVC include:

  • Kane Hall (Chair)
  • Amanda Curby (Secretary)
  • John Hopwood
  • Steve Rana
  • Aaron Rooke
  • Jye Martin
  • Georgia McClymont

Here, four committee members look back on their proudest accomplishments in 2023, and discuss their plans for advancing the priorities of young veterans in the New Year.

Kane Hall, Chair, Young Veterans Committee

“It was great to be able to provide some advice to the Modern Conflicts Memorial commemorations this year, and to take on the role of [YVC] Chair.

“A key goal for 2024 is supporting the strategy to engage with Defence at its establishments, particularly through supporting family days and other social events. This will continue to build and foster camaraderie between veterans and service personnel.”

Amanda Curby, Secretary, Young Veterans Committee

“It’s fantastic to see that our strategies are having an impact, and that membership is indeed increasing. The demographics show that younger members are increasingly joining, which demonstrates we’re doing the right thing. 

“While I’m not a veteran myself, I plan to continue to bring my Defence life perspective to the committee in 2024.”

Aaron Rooke

“Since its origin in 1916, the RSL has been an organisation designed to create human contact for veterans and veterans’ families. The idea of the Young Veterans Committee is to regrow the RSL to where it used to be so veterans can connect with one another.

“There has been some fantastic work done by the Wollongong RSL sub-Branch to strengthen these connections through sports days, fishing days and barbecues at the local Reserve Battalion. It would be great to see an expansion on some of those ideas in 2024.”

Jye Martyn

“The main reason I joined the Young Veterans Committee was to help RSL NSW modernise and become more appealing to, and supportive of, the younger veteran demographic.

“One initiative I’m planning on presenting to the Committee is returning to the roots of why people join Defence, which is often to serve their country.

“If we can tap into that desire to serve and try to create initiatives through RSL sub-Branches, such as serving the local community, I believe that would help to attract younger members and give them a sense of purpose.”

Veterans of any age are encouraged to join RSL NSW. To access support services and connect with like-minded peers, become a member of RSL NSW.

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