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Media Release – Ray James President

The nation’s largest ex-service organisation has announced that Ray James OAM has been elected as the President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (NSW Branch).

Earlier this week, delegates from a state-wide network of 350 RSL NSW sub-Branches welcomed the results of the Board election when they attended the virtual 2020 Congress and Annual General Meeting, the first of its kind due to COVID-19 restrictions. Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW, addressed the delegates from Government House.

Mr James is the first Royal Australian Navy veteran to be appointed as the President of RSL NSW. The son of a WWII veteran, he joined the Navy as a 15-year-old recruit and completed 20 years full-time and war-like active service, including Vietnam, and a further 26 years in the Royal Australian Navy Reserve before retiring at the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

Mr James said that as the elected President of RSL NSW he is committed to the future of the League – proudly respecting the past but determined to ensure that every veteran and their family have access to the support that they need after serving their country.

“The RSL has been the leading ex-service support and advocacy service for veterans and their families for over 100 years and the RSL must continue to be accessible and relevant to all veterans during and after every war, not just the World Wars and Vietnam.”

“I am humbled to have been elected by RSL NSW members to lead the organisation to work collaboratively to strategically invest our valuable fundraising income into veteran support services that improve the wellbeing of veterans and their families,” Mr James said.

The appointment of Mr James and the new Board signifies a new direction for RSL NSW as members have expressed their support of the strategic direction that the organisation is taking. The RSL NSW Strategic Plan for 2021-2026 was presented to delegates attending the AGM after extensive inter-active consultation with members and stakeholders across the veteran community.

“We know that younger veterans don’t necessarily want to attend sub-Branch meetings, but they do want to be connected to mateship and camaraderie; the RSL can facilitate this by engaging them with sport and recreation activities, and connecting them to existing veteran communities that are aligned to their interests,” Mr James said.

The Board was appointed after the first election pursuant to the RSL NSW Act 2018 (NSW) whereby every financial RSL NSW Service Member was eligible to cast one vote. RSL NSW appointed Link Market Services as an independent third-party to conduct the 2020 RSL NSW Board Election.



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