What We Do

RSL NSW is a member-based veterans’ charity, founded in 1916. For over 100 years, we’ve supported veterans and their families through camaraderie and commemoration.

RSL NSW connects veterans and their families to services through our network of 350 sub-Branches around New South Wales and through our partner charity RSL DefenceCare, which provides support with DVA claims and advocacy, financial and housing assistance, and counselling and community support.



What Does RSL NSW Do?

RSL NSW runs the major commemorative services in the Sydney CBD each ANZAC Day, including the march. We are represented on the trust of the dawn service, where we hold two positions, one by the RSL NSW State Secretary and the other a board position.

Each year, RSL NSW runs a commemoration service at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park following the Anzac Day march. There is an additional sunset service at the Cenotaph.

The RSL NSW State Secretary is the custodian of the Cenotaph in Martin Place and the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.

Each sub-Branch also runs its own calendar of commemorative events in its local area.

Through these commemorative activities, we remember and respect those who have served and sacrificed for Australia.


For over 100 years the RSL has provided a continuation of the unique camaraderie that people find during service. We bring together mates in a spirit of friendship and cooperation.

This mateship among ex-Defence personnel is at the heart of what RSL NSW is and is highly valued by our members and the veteran community.


Looking after veterans has been central to what we do for over 100 years. Today we help through our network of sub-Branches, as well as through our partner charity, RSL DefenceCare. Here are some of the ways we help.

Claims and Advocacy

RSL DefenceCare’s claims and advocacy team assists veterans and their families to navigate the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) compensation and rehabilitation services.

They work with veterans to compile evidence and submit claims and also support them by leading all interactions with the DVA.

They also represent veterans whose claims have been unsuccessful in appeals at the Veterans’ Review Board.

Community Support

The Community Support wing of RSL DefenceCare provides emergency financial support, homelessness support, and counselling services to veterans and their families.

Their work for veterans includes delivering financial assistance during natural disasters, helping to pay rent and bills, organising and funding household services, securing housing for those facing or at risk of homelessness, organising funerals, and providing home, hospital and nursing home visits.

They work with government agencies at the state and federal levels to deliver joint programs and coordinate closely with the RSL branches in other states as necessary.

Additional Service Delivery
Australian Forces Overseas Fund (AFOF)

AFOF was established in 1967 to provide care and comfort to currently serving members of the armed forces serving overseas. Through this fund, RSL NSW can access military bases to offer services directly to Defence personnel.

RSL LifeCare

RSL LifeCare is a partner charity of RSL NSW. It’s a registered Aged Care and Home Care provider and operates retirement villages across NSW and ACT.

In 2014, RSL LifeCare extended its care for older veterans to young veterans in need of accommodation through our Homes for Heroes service.

In 2020, ownership of RSL DefenceCare was transferred from RSL NSW to RSL LifeCare.

The sole member of the company is RSL NSW.  The appointment of RSL LifeCare Directors is approved by RSL NSW.

The history of RSL LifeCare goes back to the establishment of a home for war veterans established on Bare Island in 1911, before a joint venture between Sydney Legacy and RSL NSW established a War Veterans Home with the opening of Legacy Park in 1939 at Narrabeen. At the end of 1963, Sydney Legacy withdrew from the joint venture and RSL NSW took sole responsibility for appointing Directors to the Board of the War Veterans Home Inc., which over time became RSL LifeCare.

Throughout NSW and the ACT, RSL LifeCare has in excess of:

  • 3,000 retirement living residents (1,200 veterans or a partner of a veteran)
  • 2,000 aged care beds (800 veterans or a partner of a veteran)
  • 2,000 community care clients (1,300 veterans or a partner of a veteran)
  • 3,100 staff (600 employees are veterans or a partner of a veteran)

Financial information about RSL LifeCare is available from the ACNC website.