News - Presidents Update ANZAC House

President Update – 19 December 2019

Dear RSL Members,

This will be my last update for 2019. With Christmas fast approaching, my pride in what our League has achieved sits alongside a deep relief that the constitution vote is finally behind us. No more suspense and uncertainty. Much less talking and much more doing.

In my last update I spoke to you about the crisis many of our comrades face with bushfires and drought destroying farmlands and communities across New South Wales. Dozens of sub-Branches contacted ANZAC House to offer their support. I would like to thank all of those sub-Branches that contributed to the Disaster Assistance Fund which has provided over $210,000 in emergency financial support to veterans and their families impacted by the bushfires and drought. As more families are allowed to return to their homes, I suspect the need will grow even further.

To see the District Councils, sub-Branches and Auxiliaries that gave so generously, as well as which areas have received assistance so far, please click here.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Central Council of RSL Auxiliaries for their tireless effort and support for our activities over the years. Under the new constitution our Auxiliaries will report directly to their sub-Branches and so the council will no longer operate. But the Auxiliaries will always continue to be a cornerstone of the League, with their fundraising remaining crucial to our support for those who have served. Their quiet dedication to our cause is one of our greatest strengths.

A defining theme of 2020 will be consultation on our new strategic plan. Members at the coalface know where we should be looking as a league, and how we can make the most difference. The RSL NSW Board has approved a draft strategic plan for member consultation. A draft has been provided to members and sub-Branches. 

RSL NSW CEO, Jon Black, will commence consultation with members on the draft strategic plan from January 2019.

The outcome sought from the consultation is the incorporation of member suggestions and support for a plan to secure the future of the League in NSW. This process will be important, and the desire is to engage with members directly.

As part of the consultation, Jon will be making sub-Branch visits through to 30 April 2020, or beyond if needed. He will be accompanied by a board member (where possible) or another executive team member from ANZAC House.

If you would like Jon to visit your sub-Branch please discuss this with other members of your sub-Branch to determine the most appropriate date and time. Sub-Branches who would like to arrange a visit are invited to email

It would be helpful, where possible, if some sub-Branches could combine to reduce the total number of visits and travel.

When requesting a visit, your sub-Branch must provide the following details:
1. three date and time options;
2. the approximate number of members expected to be in attendance;
3. best contact person’s name, email and phone number;

Following this, ANZAC House will contact the nominated person to confirm the details of the scheduled visit.

For those members who cannot attend a sub-Branch visit, we are also developing a means for you to provide direct feedback online. More information on the online platform and how to access it will be made available early in the new year.

But for now, please enjoy a lovely break over Christmas and the new year period. I hope you can spend it with loved ones and few worries.


Ray James
Acting President

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