RSL announces National ESO Forum to address the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) has announced it will host a National Forum for Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs), the first in a series of planned events to address the emerging findings of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

The event, which will be held on Tuesday, 15 November 2022, will give representatives from Australia’s leading ESOs an opportunity to meet in person to discuss how they can collaborate to help meet the urgent needs of the Defence community, veterans, and their families.

Royal Commissioners Mr Nick Kaldas APM, the Hon James Douglas KC, and Dr Peggy Brown AO will attend the National ESO Forum as honorary guests to observe the opening proceedings and learn more about the services and support offered by the ESOs.

RSL Australia’s National President Greg Melick said the Forum offered an opportunity for ESOs to discuss how to proactively address issues that had been examined by the Royal Commission.

“While the Royal Commission’s Interim Report largely focused on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, claims processing backlogs and the support available to veterans giving evidence at Hearings, the RSL recognises that there are improvements that can and need to be made in the Ex-Service Organisation sector,” Mr Melick said.

“The RSL is hosting the National ESO Forum in Canberra to bring Australia’s leading ESOs together and identify ways we can work collectively to serve the needs of veterans and their families.

“We know that addressing the findings of the Royal Commission can’t be done by any one organisation alone – we must demonstrate our commitment to working together.

“Our National ESO Forum represents the expertise the RSL has gained over its 106-year history, and the event demonstrates our commitment to working with the wider ESO sector to maximise the wellbeing of Australia’s veteran community,” he said.

The Forum will be hosted by RSL Australia and all RSL State Branches and will be free of charge for all ESOs to attend. Attendees are required to register to participate, however, the RSL will accept written submissions from ESOs unable to attend the event in person.

RSL NSW President Ray James urged ESO leaders to register to attend the event and said that collaboration was crucial for influencing the prioritisation of the issues impacting veterans.

The National ESO Forum will be held from 9:00am – 5:00pm on Tuesday, 15 November 2022 at The Boat House in Grevillea Park, Canberra. ESOs can register to attend or make a submission to the RSL National ESO Forum via rslevents.com.au.

 

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