Feedback on the Draft Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs)

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Commemoration, Events, Honours and Awards, and Memorabilia

Bill Hardman OAM, Forestville RSL sub-Branch

Agree with the content of this SOP


Alan Lyons, Rockdale RSL sub-Branch

There is no Document Author.


Forster-Tuncurry RSL sub-Branch

4.6 Certificate of Appreciation (a) should read “The sub-Branch”
5 Memorabilia (a) (b) (c) (d) and (e) appear to be general comments and have no relevance as an Operating Procedure

Conduct of sub-Branch Meetings

Bill Hardman OAM, Forestville RSL sub-Branch

Agree with the content. It is in some detail as many sub-Branches will not have other reference material on meeting procedures.


Alan Lyons, Rockdale RSL sub-Branch

There is no Document Author.

Forster-Tuncurry RSL sub-Branch

4.5 Withdrawal of a Motion
Should Read; The mover of a motion may withdraw the motion if it has not already been amended. Permission of the seconder is not required A motion cannot be withdrawn while an amendment is under consideration. However, the amendment can first be withdrawn in the usual way.
The mover of a motion does not require leave to withdraw his motion.
This entire clause as written is confusing and has wording that is irrelevant and does not make any sense.

4.7 Repetitious Motions
Should Read: Once a meeting has rejected a motion, further motions to the same effect, even if in a different form of words is not permissible, a motion substantially covering the same ground of an amendment dealt with by the meeting is not permissible.
However, the matter could be raised again at a subsequent meeting.
Delete This principle is important, as otherwise much time could be wasted by bringing back a defeated motion every few minutes. Apart from that, reopening a matter would be unfair to persons who had left the meeting for bona fide reasons, believing that the matter had been finalised. This is somebody’s opinion and does not conform to an SOP.

4.8 Suspension of Standing Orders
Should read: Suspension of Standing Orders at a meeting merely relaxes the normal rules of debate. Proceedings should still be minuted in the usual way. A member desiring the departure from the rules should rise and call for a Point of Order as per 14.4.
4.10 Motions
(L) The mover does not require permission to amend or alter his motion.
(M) The mover does not require permission to withdraw his motion.

4.11 Amendments
(i) Contrary to (j) and vice versa, What is the difference between amend and alter? They both mean the same.
(k) The mover does not require permission to withdraw his motion.

4.12 Order of Debate
Delete Clauses (c) to (i) inclusive they apply to amendments and this clause refers to Motions.
Insert new (c) The Chairperson sets a time limit on speakers
Insert new (d) The Chairperson calls speakers one at a time and in appropriate sequence, one speaker For the motion then one speaker Against the motion until all members wishing to speak have spoken. As per Renton’s Vol 2 Guide for Meetings.

4.14 Points of Order
Clause (d) (iv) Delete “delegates” and Insert “Members”

4.15 General
Delete (b) (i) to (v) inclusive. These are done prior to a meeting not after the meeting is opened.

5 Meeting Agenda Template
Relocate Guest Speaker to follow after All Stand. Reason you do not want to inconvenience a Guest Speaker by keeping them waiting for you to conduct your meeting. They may have other things to do and may not be interested in your meeting.

District Councils

Bill Hardman OAM, Forestville RSL sub-Branch

Simplify SOP name on cover page to ‘’District Councils”. Other than that I agree with the content of the SOP.


Alan Lyons, Rockdale RSL sub-Branch

Clause 7.4 g) The reference to Clause 4.5 is incorrect. It should be Clause 7.5.


Forster-Tuncurry RSL sub-Branch

No Comment

RSL Auxiliaries

Bill Hardman OAM, Forestville RSL sub-Branch

The content of this SOP needs to be clearly understood.

Clause 2.1(b) – This clause in particular raises more questions than answers. All Auxiliaries should be approved and controlled by the sub-Branches. Under the proposed Constitution we will have a Board of Governance, Anzac House who will administer, and the DC’s and sub-Branches who will manage the network. Neither the Board nor Anzac House should step into a management role.

Clause 2.2(a) – As it is an RSL Auxiliary I would reword as follows:
‘’……may consist of Auxiliary Members, Service Members or Affiliate Members of RSL NSW….”

Clause 2.6(b) – remove ‘’ be done in accordance” and replace with the word ‘’comply’’.


Forster-Tuncurry RSL sub-Branch

No Comment this sub-Branch does not have Auxiliaries

Sub-Branch Election Procedures

Bill Hardman OAM, Forestville RSL sub-Branch

Clause 2.1 – [other?] explanation required.
Clause 2.2 – following Auditor include the following sentence:
‘’When a casual vacancy occurs the replacement is appointed by the members, and occupies that position until the expiry of the term of the former executive creating the vacancy’’.
This provides a brief summary in the SOP. You will only need to refer to the Constitution for further detail.
Clause 3.2(b) – remove the word ‘’must’’
Clause 3.2(c) – [how] explanation required.
Clause 3.3(f) – reference to 3.2(d) above should read 3.1(d)
Clause 3.4(e) – [INSERT] to be completed
Clause 3.4(j) – replace ‘’filled in’’ with the word ‘’completed’’
Clause 3.4(l) – replace 3.2(d) with 3.1(d)
Clause 3.1(f) – Needs to be reworded to account for unincorporated sub-Branches who may not require trustees to be registered. That is, those sub-Branches with no real property or investments, and with a modest bank account being the only asset. Refer to Leanne Myer.


Alan Lyons, Rockdale RSL sub-Branch

1. Clause 3.1 a) (ii) Which of the A. – D. is correct as per the RSL NSW Act 2018 “one man one vote” interpretation by RSL NSW.
2. Clause 3.2 b) in the first line is it “must” or “may”. The candidate may appoint a scrutineer.
3. Clause 3.4 e) The “[INSERT]” should be “Chair”.
4. Clause 3.4 l) The reference to “3.2(d)” is not correct. What reference is correct.


Forster-Tuncurry RSL sub-Branch

2.1 sub-Branch Executive, Delegates and Auditor
1. Should read; A member of a sub-Branch Executive will hold office until the closing of the third sub-Branch annual general meeting as set out in clauses 13.11 – 13.12 of the Constitution. The terms of clause 13.11 – 13.12 also apply to the positions held by any General Committee Member, delegate (being a delegate to District Council, Annual Congress or the Annual General Meeting).
2. [other?] What does this represent?
3. Delete “or Auditor.” Some Auditors normally charge a high exit fee if the sub-Branch change Auditors which some sub-Branches may not be able to afford and in some small country location there may not be an abundance of Auditors to choose from.

2.1 Casual Vacancy
1. Should read; Clause 13.13 of the Constitution sets out the manner in which a casual vacancy on a sub-Branch Executive is filled, by a resolution of sub-Branch members at the next general meeting of the sub-Branch. The terms of this clause also apply to the positions held by any General Committee Member, delegate.
2. Delete “or Auditor”. Auditors are normally appointed by the Executive prior to the sub-Branch AGM. If nomination for Auditors are called for at a General Meeting this could cause problems at a meeting where a number of members may nominate different Auditors who may or may not hold the necessary qualifications or the Executive may not be able to verify their qualifications.

3.1 Nominations
1. 3.1 (a) (i) Delete “or Auditors” Auditors are normally appointed by the Executive prior to the sub-Branch AGM.
2. 3.1 (c) (ii) Delete “by the sub-Branch and the time and date received,” This clause indicates that the nominations are made verbally at the sub-Branch AGM, there is no need to record this information as the minutes record the date of the meeting and the time the meeting opened.

3.2 Returning Officer and Scrutineers
3.2 (a) Should read; For any election of persons to the sub-Branch Executive a returning officer must be appointed and endorsed by the members of the sub-Branch. The returning officer is responsible for the proper administration and facilitation of the election and must not be a nominee for a position in the election.
Delete “The returning officer will usually be the sub-Branch Secretary unless the secretary is nominating for a position”. The sub-Branch Secretary in this clause is a member of the Executive and ineligible as a Returning Officer. See 3.2 (d)
3.2 (b) Delete “Must” must and may do not go together.

3.3 Conduct of Election
Insert New (a) “The sub-Branch President will ask the Returning Officer to Chair the meeting for the Election of Officers and the Returning Officer will declare all position Vacant conduct the election of Officers”.
(b) The election of Sub-Branch, Executive, Committee Members and Delegate positions will be in the following order:
(i) President;
(ii) Vice Presidents;
(iii) Secretary;
(iv) Treasurer;
(v) Committee Members;
(vi) Delegates to District Council, State Congress and State Annual General Meeting
Delete all references to Trustees as they are appointed as per this clause 13.52 of the Constitution.
Delete (viii) Auditor. Auditors are normally appointed by the Executive prior to the sub-Branch AGM.
3.3 (d) Delete – “Where an election is not based solely on a show of hands and is conducted in whole or in part by way of ballot,” This is irrelevant to the meaning of the clause.
3.3 (g) Should read – “If only one candidate is nominated to fill a position, then they are automatically appointed.
Delete – “may be elected to the position if their nomination is seconded by a person entitled to vote pursuant to 3.2(d) above. Clause 3.2 (d) has no bearing on this clause.

3.4 Appointment of sub-Branch Trustees (for unincorporated associations only)
Re-number all sub clauses
Delete Clauses (a) to (j) as Trustees are appointed as per clause 13.52 of the Constitution and sub clauses (a) to (j) refer to election of Trustees which cannot apply.

3.5 Eligibility to Participate in Election
Should read – Only Members who have paid their membership fees for the current financial year in which the elections are held in accordance with clause 12 Annexure B of the Constitution and who are therefore financial members, can participate in elections whether by nominating, standing for nomination, or voting.
Delete “in any year” This could mean a member who has become unfinancial is still eligible to vote.
Delete “endorsing a trustee nomination in accordance with clause 3.4(b),” Trustees are appointed as per clause 13.52 of the Constitution
Delete “or election”

Charitable Activities, Donations and Charitable Purpose Contribution

Bryan West, Parramatta RSL sub-Branch

I’ve just read the draft Charitable Purpose SOP and I have a problem with it. The SOP defines a “Veteran” as described below. Many members of our sub-Branch do not fit into the definition of “Veteran”.

SOP Charitable Activities, Donations and Charitable Purpose Contribution

2. (b) A Veteran in this context is a person who has served in the Australian Defence Force with one day of permanent or continuous full-time service. This adopts the eligibility requirements applied by the Department of Veteran Affairs for veteran benefits under, amongst other things, the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant.

At Parramatta, we have service members, including Life Members, who served in the Defence Force of our allies (Netherlands, New Zealand, Korea, USA, Great Britain and others). These members now cannot be classified as “Veterans” and therefore are not eligible for welfare. Also many of our service members served as Reservists and did not complete permanent or continuous full-time service in the ADF and again are not “Veterans” and again not eligible for welfare. They are, however, service members.

I think the definition of a “Veteran” in relation to the RSL should be “Service Member”. We are not a government organisation. Even Reservists without continuous full-time service are eligible for rehabilitation, compensation and other forms of assistance from DVA, if eligible.

Is this SOP correct to classify some of our members as eligible for welfare and others not eligible?


Alan Lyons, Rockdale RSL sub-Branch

1. Clause 2.1 a) The word veteran appears twice in line 2
2. Clause 2.1 a) The definition of a veteran’s family needs defining. It should be dependent family members.
3. Clause 2.2 d) For small amounts, say under $100, it should only require a diary note signed by two sub-Branch members who are authorised.
4. Clause 2.8 Does not mention the sub-Branch Assistance Fund or the Australian Forces Overseas Fund. Where do they fit into the scheme .
5. Clause 2.8 e) Not all organisations that support sub-Branches have an ABN or ACN. Example the band that supports us for the ANZAC Day or ANZAC Sunday services is a community band that does not have an ABN.
6. Clause 4.3 The limit of $50,000 needs increasing on a yearly basis as it has not changed in some years. It should be increased to at least $75,000.
7. The Charitable purpose expenditure as set out in this SOP includes in the “Charitable Purpose” all Clauses 2) but the SBAs and accounting does not reflect this. The Accounting treatment and SBAs need amendment to reflect this as at 1 January 2020.


Bryan West, Parramatta RSL sub-Branch

I have just read the draft Membership SOP and I see a problem with one aspect of the SOP, that is members retaining the same card year after year. Currently, my sub-Branch card has 2019 printed on it. I presume that, in future, every member will get a new card without the year printed on it.

The Parramatta RSL Club is very generous to the Parramatta sub-Branch members, and also all other sub-Branch members. The Club offers discounted annual Club membership fees to all financial members of an RSL sub-Branch. The average member of the Parramatta RSL Club pays $5.50 membership per year. Financial sub-Branch members, of any sub-Branch, only pays $2.20 membership per year. Proof of financial status is the presentation of a sub-Branch card with the current year printed on it, as it does now.

If new cards do not have a year on it, the Club cannot verify if the sub-Branch member is financial and may not give a discount for that years membership fee.

For instance, if the RSL gives me a new card next year (2020) and it doesn’t have 2020 printed on it, why would the Club give me discounted membership fees? The Club would not know if I am financial or not.

If the RSL doesn’t give me a new card next year and I retain the current card, why would the Club give me a discounted membership fee in 2020 if the card has 2019 printed on it? Again, the Club wouldn’t know if I am financial in 2020 or not.

Please provide clarification on this card matter.


Alan Lyons, Rockdale RSL sub-Branch

There is no Document Author.

Roles, Responsibilities, Powers and Duties of Office Holders

Alan Lyons, Rockdale RSL sub-Branch

1. There is no Document Author.
2. Clause 2.2 b) This will be impossible for the majority of sub-Branches whose membership is small. The Presidents role has been a singular role since inception.
3. Clause 6.a) (iii) should be “issue of receipts promptly:”

General Comments

Bill Hardman OAM, Forestville RSL sub-Branch

It was agreed at the recent DC7 meeting that; ‘’respecting, supporting and …etc’’ be removed from the SOP’s face page. The Motto of the RSL under clause 3.4 of the RSL National Constitution is: ‘’The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance’’. Not sure where the change has come from, and from memory it has not been approved by the members.

It was also agreed that an SOP Number would appear on the cover page above the subject of the SOP eg. SOP 11.


Alan Lyons, Rockdale RSL sub-Branch

The SOPs are not tied in to the Draft Constitution in any meaningful way. The State Secretary has stated that they are “guides” rather part of the Constitution whereas the current constitution ties them in as By-Laws.

The Members/Sub-Branches/District Councils can ignore the SOPs and it will be difficult for RSL NSW to enforce.

The Ashurst Legal Opinion does not give the Board the power to delegate to District Councils or the District Council Presidents Council


Allan Fletcher, The Entrance/Long Jetty RSL sub-Branch

Sub Branches have been informed that the SOPs are only a guide to assist in the running of the sub Branch:
“Once again, it is important to acknowledge that these guides are not meant to be step-by-step instructions but rather provide practical guidance on running a sub-Branch.” —Jeff O’Brien

Yet the proposed new Constitution 21.1 –21.2 inform us that the SOPs MUST be complied with. Who is right?

In the Sops it states that a sub Branch can’t donate to the ADF–Units or Agencies. Where do the Army–Navy– Air Force Cadets fit in?