Member Newsletter – 1 April 2020
It is difficult to know where to start this newsletter as so much that we have taken for granted has changed in a very short space of time. ANZAC Day, sub-Branch meetings, functions and other social get-togethers are all on hold as we navigate the current health crisis. The impact of COVID-19 is huge, and it is vitally important that we all pay attention to the current health advice being circulated by the government. It is also important that we continue to support the veteran community through this crisis by using the available technology to check-in on mates and others who may not be coping with the new environment of social distancing and isolation. In the words of the Governor General, who made a specific address to the veteran community over the weekend, it is our duty to be “… there for each other, kind to each other and connected to each other”.
As previously circulated in Member Newsletter 05/20 – 23 March, ANZAC House staff are all working from home however the services provided by RSL DefenceCare, Veteran Sport Australia and the Sub-Branch & Member Support Unit are still available through the normal channels. Continue to use the same phone numbers, email and postal address to contact ANZAC House as these services have been redirected to the appropriate team members.
As stated in Board Communique B03/20 – 25 March, the board agreed that any outstanding SBAs can be sent to ANZAC House without changes to office bearers and without signatures. Noting that the deadline for submitting your SBA was 31 March, can sub-Branches please contact the Support Unit if they require an extension of time? In recognition of the disruption to normal sub-Branch business, we simply ask that you provide us with notification of how long you require the extension for and the reason for the request.
Also, sub-Branches should be aware of an extension to the ACNC reporting requirements. In response to COVID-19, the ACNC Commissioner, the Hon Dr Gary Johns, announced a blanket extension for all charities who were due to submit their 2019 Annual Information Statements (AIS) by 30 June (this includes all RSL NSW sub-Branches). The due date for sub-Branches is now 31 August 2020. You can find out more on the ACNC website.
Please contact the Support Unit if any sub-Branch feels it will not meet its reporting requirements for this year.
RSL NSW is respecting social distancing and will not be conducting the ANZAC 2020 street appeal. ANZAC House is working with the other State Branches to promote anzacappeal.com.au.
All donations from residents in NSW will come to RSL NSW and be used to support the assistance we provide to veterans and their families.
If looking to direct requests to give donations, you can provide the details of the anzacappeal.com.au website.
Sub-Branch Model Constitution
It was the intention of RSL NSW to present the draft sub-Branch model constitutions (for a company limited by guarantee and an incorporated association) for consideration by the District Presidents’ Council (DPC) at their March meeting. Due to resourcing constraints and competing priorities this was not achieved and the DPC meeting was postponed in the wake of the current health crisis. Accordingly, the constitutions will not be formally commented on/endorsed until the DPC meeting in May, which will most likely mean the board will not be in a position to consider them until June given the DPC’s May meeting is scheduled to coincide with the board meeting.
Regarding the recent communique addressing how sub-Branches could provide tenants (including clubs) with a rental deferral under their leases as a result of the impact of COVID-19, a draft checklist has been posted to the RSL NSW website to assist with expediting these requests. It should be noted that all requests will be considered on a case by case basis in the context of the fact that rent received under tenancies across sub-Branches is charitable money and must be dealt with accordingly.
The process to be followed is:
- Complete the form available on the RSL NSW website
- Submit the completed form to the Support Unit
- Each circumstance will be reviewed on a case by case basis (from information on the checklist)
- If all is in order a letter will be prepared by ANZAC House on behalf of the sub-Branch
- Letter executed and recorded
Please note that of particular consideration is the matter of conflicts of interest where sub-Branch executive/trustees are also on the Club Board. For those sub-Branches, the manner in which the conflict of interest has been addressed will need to be clearly set out in an attachment to the checklist.
Thank you for reading,
State Secretary & GM Member Services