Member Newsletter – 6 February 2020
Happy new year. Natural disaster will have made this a difficult couple of months for many in our League. I hope life is regaining a sense of normalcy to the extent possible, and wish you all a safe and productive 2020.
Generous donations from sub-Branches have allowed our League, through RSL DefenceCare’s Disaster Assistance Fund, to give over $73,000 directly to veterans and their families affected by the bushfires, and another $24,600 to sub-Branches to distribute locally. You can read much more detail about this assistance on the RSL NSW website (click here), including where it came from, where it is helping, and how to seek help or contribute.
Standard Operating Procedures
Following the introduction of a new constitution at last year’s congress, there are now 10 standard operating procedures (SOPs) available on the RSL NSW website (click here). These take the place of our old by-laws and regulations—with a twist: where possible they avoid playing nanny to sub-Branches which know how to run themselves (you’ll find no rules on tie tying, for example).
I encourage all members to familiarise themselves with our new governing documents. And if you spot a need for clarity or adjustment to any of the SOPs a simple process applies: if your sub-Branch agrees with a proposal to amend they can vote to send it to the District Council for endorsement, from whence it will go to the new District Presidents’ Council for expedited review and action. The DPC is set to meet next in May.
A register of the resolutions made at last year’s congress is now available to view on the Congress page of the Members’ Suite on our website (click here). This register shows action already taken and planned next steps for each resolution. It will be updated as progress is made.
All members are welcome and encouraged to attend the following major commemorative events to be hosted by State Branch this year:
- Tuesday, 7 April – 11am: RSL & Schools Remember ANZAC, Anzac Memorial
- Saturday, 25 April – 4.15am: ANZAC Day Dawn Service, Cenotaph
- Saturday, 25 April – 9am: ANZAC Day March, Elizabeth Street
- Saturday, 25 April – 12.30pm: ANZAC Day Commemorative Service, Anzac Memorial
- Saturday, 25 April – 5pm: ANZAC Day Sunset Service, Cenotaph
- Friday, 29 May – 11am: Indigenous Veterans Commemoration, Anzac Memorial
- Saturday, 15 August – 11am: Victory in the Pacific Day, Cenotaph
- Tuesday, 18 August – 11am: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day, Cenotaph
Sub-Branches preparing for the 2020 ANZAC Appeal will be familiar with the PMA Global catalogue and order form available on the RSL NSW website (click here). For budgeting purposes, sub-Branches should use the ‘Discount Price Level 2’ to determine how much they will spend on appeal stock.
Please see circular C01/20 and the website link above for full details, and remember that orders are due to PMA Global by close of business Friday, 21 February.
Governance Training Webinar
A reminder to sub-Branch executives and trustees that the governance training program run across the state last year is still available via an online webinar. Those who were unable to attend in person can email email@example.com to request log-in details and training manuals, and will be able to complete the training at a time that suits them.
Sub-Branches should now be busy renewing memberships. Each sub-Branch will be sent an updated member list in March to perform a final check of their renewing members and advise ANZAC House of any changes. Once final member data is confirmed, we will be invoicing each sub-Branch for the total capitation fee for all renewing members ($25 each). New perpetual membership cards will then be issued in May for all Service Members (including Life Members and Life Subscribers) and Affiliate Members.
Please refer to circular C11/19 for more information on the new membership renewal process.
Annual Return Forms
Honorary secretaries should also be aware that 2019 annual return forms and explanatory cover sheets (for sub-Branches, auxiliaries, district councils and youth clubs) are now available in the Members’ Suite on the RSL NSW website (click here). As usual, these should be submitted by 31 March.
Some may already be aware of the charity Swiss 8, run by veterans to promote good health. Under that organisation, a group of young veterans is preparing to walk around Australia to highlight veterans’ experience and successes against mental ill-health as a model for the broader public. Starting from Sydney on 1 April, they will head north along the coast and ultimately re-enter New South Wales near Thredbo in mid-October.
We have received enquiries from members about engagement with the project. As always, this is up to the sub-Branch itself, not ANZAC House. You can find out more about Swiss 8 on their website (click here).
‘Be Connected’ Grant
RSL NSW has secured a grant through the Be Connected program to fund training in computer literacy for members aged 50 and over. To test its benefits, we will be piloting the program over the next few months in certain districts. It covers topics such as:
- the basics of computers and smartphones;
- using email and navigating the internet;
- internet safety and avoiding scams; and
- using social media.
Any sub-Branch can also apply individually for funding to run the program on a smaller scale (click here). Applications should be made by Friday, 28 February. We recommend successful applicants contact Christine David at IT 4 Retirees, our partner in the pilot program, at 0401 017 459 or firstname.lastname@example.org to organise training sessions with grant funding once received.
Thank you for reading,
State Secretary & GM Member Services