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RSL NSW advocating for veterans

The RSL has a proud history of advocating for the health and wellbeing of its members, veterans, and their families. Through the work of RSL NSW President Ray James, the RSL NSW Veterans Services and Policy Committee (VSPC) and collaboration with the RSL nationally and other ESOs, RSL NSW remains a strong and relevant voice for veterans and those in the Defence community.

This page provides the latest information on the veterans’ policy and advocacy work of RSL NSW and RSL Australia, as well as information about the ongoing Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

Some of the recent advocacy activities pursued by the VSPC, RSL NSW, and the RSL nationally are outlined below:

  • Advocated for an increase in Veterans’ Home Care funding, which subsequently saw the Federal Government announce an additional $70.6 million in funding over four years to increase Veterans’ Home Care fees for domestic assistance and personal care services.
  • Lobbied for an extension to the Provisional Access to Medical Treatment program, which provides access to medical treatment for 20 of the most commonly claimed conditions to veterans who have lodged a claim with DVA. The Federal Government recently committed $33 million to extend the program.
  • Called for the expansion of the DVA Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Program (PADP), which matches highly-trained dogs with veterans diagnosed with PTSD to support them through their clinical recovery. The Federal Government recently announced an additional $22 million funding to expand the program.
  • Working with Defence Reserves Association and Defence Force Welfare Association, the RSL has pushed for all Reservists to be covered by non-liability healthcare provisions.
  • Working to secure demand-driven funding for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  • Resolving outstanding motions from RSL NSW Annual Congresses – progress can be seen here.
  • Advocating for alignment in funeral benefits for veterans covered by the Veterans’ Entitlement Act with the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA)
  • Advocating for funding and training of additional Compensation and Wellbeing Advocate mentors to improve training and availability of advocates in NSW and across Australia
  • Pushed for RSL National to provide support to the Australian Defence Force Retirees’ Association (ADFRA), to help advocate on behalf of veterans covered by the DFRDB

RSL NSW Royal Commission Office

RSL NSW has established a Royal Commission Office at ANZAC House. The Office will provide support to all levels of the RSL in engagement with the Royal Commission. Establishment of the Office will ensure the strongest response to the Royal Commission, and by doing so, also ensure the best support and outcomes for our valued members and the wider veteran community.

For more information visit the RSL NSW Royal Commission Office page.

Royal Commission – key documents

Read the Australian Government Response to the Interim Report – September 2022
Read the RSL Australia Interim Report Response – September 2022
Read the RSL Australia – Annexure – Harmonisation of Legislation – September 2022
Read the RSL Australia – Annexure – ESO System
Read the RSL Australia – Annexure – Implementation Body
View the Royal Commission Interim Report (August 2022)
View the RSL Australia interim submission to the Royal Commission (June 2022)
View the RSL NSW submission to the Royal Commission
View the RSL Australia submission to the Royal Commission
Letter from Nick Kaldas, Chair of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide
Interview with Nick Kaldas, Chair of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide
Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide Terms of Reference
Media Release – RSL on Royal Commission announcement
Department of Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs background papers