President Update – 22 May 2020
This week is National Volunteer Week 2020, with the theme ‘Changing Communities. Changing Lives’.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you. From our newest members through to those with life membership; from Auxiliary members to my fellow board directors. Given the huge amount of time and effort that you all put into the RSL NSW mission, it is easy to forget that we are all volunteers.
2020 has brought unique challenges, and the role of our volunteers has never been more important. While we can’t get out in the public and fundraise, the need to provide welfare and support services is ever present. The local RSL sub-Branch remains a pillar of local communities, and it is each of you that makes this so.
With ANZAC Day just past, we provided a strong reminder to all Australians of the important work we do for commemoration and to honour our brave service personnel. And while a lot of media attention was paid to this pillar of our work, welfare and camaraderie continued in the background – often not championed as publicly, but no less important.
I know sub-Branches in the Illawarra region took part in the Illawarra Digger Drop Off which put together care packages with essential items for veterans in the area. Similarly, the City of Bankstown RSL sub-Branch has also been providing care packages and Cumberland RSL sub-Branch has ensured veteran families in need are receiving grocery deliveries.
Sub-Branches in the Central Coast District have been conducting welfare checks by making phone calls to veterans in the surrounding areas – a practice that I know is going on throughout the state. These are just some of the examples of how our sub-Branches are providing welfare and camaraderie in their local regions.
In addition to the above, I have heard plenty of testimonials from veteran families that thank us for the support and assistance we provide, and how it has often changed their lives. I am sure you all have countless examples from your own local veteran networks that tell the same story.
During these difficult times of isolation, I urge you all to continue to reach out to veterans, widows and other vulnerable members of society – through calls, email and social networking. Technology is a great ally to us in these times.
I’m concluding this update by once again saying thank you to all of you for the incredible work you do to carry on the mission of RSL NSW – respecting, supporting and remembering our veterans and their families.
Acting State President