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RSL NSW Appoints Jon Black New Chief Executive Officer

RSL NSW Appoints Jon Black New Chief Executive Officer

Strong Track Record Of Leadership Across Corporate and Military Service

The Board of RSL NSW has today announced the appointment of Jon Black as Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Black, a highly experienced executive with strong leadership experience across the Corporate and Government sectors as well as service in the Australian Army, will commence his role immediately. He will join and lead a revered community and veteran-focused organisation that is continuing to grow and evolve after several years of change and reforms.

“I welcome Jon to the RSL NSW family and look forward to working closely with him with support from an experienced RSL NSW Executive Team. Jon’s experience in leading a range of complex organisations with strong knowledge of governance practices is exactly what RSL NSW needs in our new CEO, with his service in the Australian Army ensuring there is strong knowledge of the challenges facing our members and the broader veteran community,” said Ray James, Acting President of RSL NSW.

“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.”

Mr. Black was most recently Managing Director of TAFE NSW where he drove an extensive change management program throughout the state. Previous roles also include Director-General of Queensland Government Departments of Environment and Heritage Protection and Energy and Water Supply. He was also CEO of Queensland-based water utility Unitywater and Executive Director of the SEQ Council of Mayors.

Such corporate and government experience comes off the back of a 20-plus year career in the Australian Army that 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, Mr. Black 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.

“It is truly an honour to be charged with leading RSL NSW, a revered and iconic 103-year old organisation that rightfully means so much to so many people. The sub-Branches and extraordinary volunteers are pillars of the community. We must enable and guide them so that they can continue the great work taking care of veterans and their families on a daily basis in communities across the state,” said Mr. Black.

“It has clearly been a challenging time over the last two years and I commit to working tirelessly with the team at State Headquarters, the District Councils, sub-Branches and members across the state to ensure RSL NSW continues its leading role in member and veteran services, including strong advocacy and collaboration with a wide range of partners both within the veteran community and more broadly across governments and our corporate sector.”

With a commitment to serving veterans and their families, RSL members will be voting on a new constitution and revised standard operating procedures at the end of October that will provide further opportunity to grow and expand on the services delivered to its members and the broader veteran community and their families.

The proposed new constitution is part of a broader major reform program that has included lifting the ban on sub-Branch fundraising after two years of internal repair amid concerns around compliance failures that were brought to light during the Bergin Inquiry. RSL NSW has also recently undertaken state-wide Corporate Governance Training where Trustees and Executives from all 348 sub-Branches were invited to sessions held all across the State.

Today’s appointment comes as previous CEO Robyn Collins has announced her retirement. She will remain in the organisation for a short period to ensure a smooth handover to Mr. Black.

“The Board acknowledges and thanks Ms Collins for her 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. Much of what we have achieved in repairing the State Branch in the past two years has been due to her efforts,” said Mr. James.

The CEO search process 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.

Media Contact: David Wolf 0411 111 787 or

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