Major reforms to RSL NSW – RSL LifeCare governance
Yesterday the RSL NSW State Council and RSL LifeCare board of directors voted to implement major reforms. These will strengthen the governance and performance of both organisations – delivering better results for veterans and their families, and the residents and clients of RSL LifeCare. These reforms complete twelve months of work by both charities to address issues identified during the 2017 Charitable Fundraising Act Inquiry.
The Inquiry conducted by Justice Bergin identified several issues between RSL NSW and RSL LifeCare. In particular, the blurred accountabilities and potential conflicts of interest inherent in the presence of RSL NSW State Councillors on the RSL LifeCare board, and the dual role of RSL LifeCare directors as corporate members of the charity.
Yesterday, RSL LifeCare directors voted to cease their role as members of the company. RSL NSW will be the sole member of the company with responsibility for RSL LifeCare’s constitution and ensuring its ongoing charitable purpose. These reforms are focused on governance, and RSL LifeCare operations and services will otherwise continue as normal for residents and staff.
RSL LifeCare’s board, apart from the ex-officio director’s role of the RSL NSW President, will consist entirely of independent and professional directors. RSL NSW State Councillors will no longer be appointed to the RSL LifeCare board. This will equip RSL LifeCare with the professional expertise it needs to govern the charity and deliver for its clients and stakeholders. To enable the ongoing recruitment of quality professional directors, RSL NSW will shortly approve that RSL LifeCare directors be remunerated at a level appropriate for a charity of the size and complexity of RSL LifeCare. The RSL NSW President will not receive personal remuneration for his ex-officio role on the RSL LifeCare board.
RSL NSW and RSL LifeCare, with the newly appointed RSL LifeCare CEO, Laurie Leigh, will jointly work to set a renewed long-term strategy for RSL LifeCare. RSL NSW are confident that with a refreshed, independent, professional board and a new CEO RSL LifeCare is well positioned for growth.
RSL NSW is grateful to the staff and directors of RSL LifeCare for their hard work and acknowledge RSL LifeCare directors who have been serving the company in a volunteer capacity.
About RSL LifeCare
RSL LifeCare is a charitable institution that delivers aged care, retirement living, and home care services across more than 50 sites in NSW and the ACT. Founded a century ago to care for ageing veterans, RSL LifeCare now provides care and services for veterans and their families, as well as senior Australians. It operates 2200 aged care beds and retirement living for nearly 3000 residents and has more than 3100 staff.