News - Presidents Update ANZAC House

President Update – 2 September 2019

Dear RSL Members,

The Board of RSL NSW has today announced the appointment of Jon Black as Chief Executive Officer. I welcome him to RSL NSW, look forward to working with him and believe his appointment is a strong and important next step in the evolution of RSL NSW.

Jon is a highly experienced chief executive with more than 15 years of leadership in complex organisations across the corporate and government sectors, as well as 24 years of service in the Australian Army. He starts today and will have an extensive handover process with our current CEO, Robyn Collins. He will lead a strong, professional and passionate team at ANZAC House.

As we continue to grow after several years of change and reforms, Jon’s strong knowledge of governance practices is exactly what RSL NSW needs in its new CEO. When combined with his service in the Australian Army, he is very well placed to ensure the challenges facing our members and the broader veteran community are represented with care.

Jon was most recently Managing Director of TAFE NSW where he drove an extensive change management program throughout the state. He has also held executive roles with the Queensland Government departments of Environment and Heritage Protection, and Energy and Water Supply; Queensland-based water utility Unitywater; and the SEQ Council of Mayors.

His career in the army included deployment to the Middle East, where he was Deputy Chief of Staff to the Multinational Force and Observers. Throughout his military career to the rank of colonel, Jon demonstrated strong leadership in many roles, including as the Commanding Officer/Chief Instructor at the Royal Military College, Duntroon and Military Assistant to the Chief of Army.

The recruitment process that had led us to today was comprehensive and exhaustive. It was driven by an independent external search firm, People for Purpose, who reported into a nominations committee of select RSL NSW Board Members and an independent third-party advisor. All short-listed candidates were extensively vetted by several parties based on the advertised job description.

I want to acknowledge Robyn Collins’ dedication in leading the organisation through a tremendous amount of change in the last few years, building a solid base on which Jon Black and his team can further build.

Friends, we are all strongly of the belief that the role that RSL NSW can and must play in the lives of veterans and their families is just as relevant today as it was 100 years ago. But as with all things, the way this should be done has evolved, and we need to evolve with it.

We are confident that Jon is the right person to finalise these reforms and lead us into the future.


Ray James
Acting President

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