Draft Constitution – In Their Own Words
Lee Cordner, President of the Central Southern District Council and Vice President of Kiama/Jamberoo RSL sub-Branch, speaks about the care and concern being taken at the District Council level to ensure member feedback is represented in discussions around the constitution.
As a member of the District Council Seven which I was elected to by the District’s president a few months ago, it’s been a great privilege to be involved in the constitution consultative process where those seven of us, who were elected, formed a tight team and we have been working through all of the constitution issues and draft issues with the RSL NSW board of representative and also the management team.
Our objective is been to take on board the feedback from last year’s congress where the draft constitution was put before the membership was voted down and there was feedback from that. But also, importantly, to communicate with those sub-Branches and their members what this new draft constitution is about, what the main components of it and why it’s important that we get it cross the line.
So, hopefully we are going to produce a draft constitution that would go to Congress at the end of October that the membership would vote for, because as a wider issue, in my opinion, it is really important that we get the cheques and balances in that constitution right and we the structure and the way RSL NSW functions right, but then we move on and get on with the important business of looking after our veterans and their families. Rather than spending more time on naval gazing.
I think the other key issue, out of all this process, is communication. It was realised last time that the constitution, the draft that was put forward, was not well understood and not well communicated to the members and the sub-Branches.
So, this time through our recommendation, that is the DC7 recommendation to the board, we’ve embarked on a much more, much tidier, more comprehensive, consultative and engaging process, run by the districts across the districts around the state and involving as much members of the sub-Branches and members as we can.
Hopefully, this would mean that when we go to Congress in October, most of the questions and concerns that people may have would have been addressed, or if they are not addressed, the reasons why they’re not being addressed would be well known and we can get this constitution across the line and get on with business.
What we’ve endeavour to do is to change things that have to be changed, there’s a board now and so on, but we haven’t changed things that don’t need to be changed at this stage, doesn’t mean they don’t have to be changed down the track. There’s not much change for sub-Branches and how they operate, for example, very little change, it is almost none.
There has been an emphasis put on the District Councils and the District Presidents Council, which is all of those presidents coming together. They have been given some real grunt, some real power to hold the board more to account and to also work better with all of the District Councils together and with the sub-Branches.
So, I am optimistic that this process and the outcome of it will be much more consultative and much more fitting with what the members want as a more decentralised process that will enable us to work much better as a league.