President Update – 7 April 2020
Each day brings new information and new challenges as we learn more about COVID-19 and the spread throughout Australia.
We have many vulnerable members at this time, and we continue to support them. However, our role is to support not just members, but all veterans. We, the RSL, must be the leader in looking after veterans and their families.
So, are we doing all we can to help veterans at this time? Are we being proactive in reaching out?
Below are some ideas on how sub-Branches can continue to provide welfare and support to veterans in their area, while still observing the strict health and safety measures necessary at this time. Many sub-Branches may already be doing some of these, and we encourage all members who have the capacity to keep them in mind. Sub-Branches could:
- have a roster of members answering calls for assistance and District Councils could organise a roster if smaller sub-Branches need assistance with this
- schedule calls to veterans in need (not just members) to check they are okay – this was very well received during the bushfire crisis
- organise rosters for food/grocery deliveries to help veterans and their families who may be struggling financially
- reach out to local radio stations and newspapers outlining how veterans in need can contact their local sub-Branch
In addition to the above, please keep in mind the support available to sub-Branches through ANZAC House and RSL DefenceCare:
- please reach out to ANZAC House if you need additional financial support to be able to contact local veterans, through the Support and Assistance Fund via: firstname.lastname@example.org, or if additional welfare related financial assistance is required for a veteran in need contact RSL DefenceCare: email@example.com or 02 8088 0388
- you can also contact RSL DefenceCare for help supporting veterans experiencing homelessness or other necessitous circumstances
- provide contact details for Open Arms to assist veterans who may need assistance with mental health concerns: 1800 011 046
Please review DVAs information on COVID-19 for veterans and their families for additional guidance on prevention and economic support during this pandemic.
If you have information on other ways your sub-Branch is supporting veterans in your local area, please email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if there are other ways ANZAC House can be providing more assistance at this time, please let me know.
Together we can make a big difference and stand out in the crowd as the organisation that can help those in need.
Acting State President