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29 Oct 2019

RSL NSW Members Deliver Historic Vote with New Constitution To Take League Forward

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RSL NSW members from across the state have today passed a historic vote that will see the implementation of a new constitution to modernise the League and meet new legislative requirements. Delegates representing members from 262 sub-Branches from across the state are currently in Albury as part of the League’s Annual State Congress and Annual General Meeting, and passed the decision after a year of ongoing consultation and collaboration.

The new document will provide a foundation upon which the League can look to the future, ensuring full compliance with the requirements of the RSL NSW Act 2018, while providing a remit to modernise, grow and broaden the services for veterans and their families.

The new constitution also ensures that RSL NSW will remain a veterans-first, member-driven charity with new checks and balances designed to ensure transparency and accountability at all levels of the League.

Today’s vote to implement a new constitution, with effect from December 1 2019, is a major step forward and a crucial next step in the League’s ongoing modernisation. This program has included lifting the suspension 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 with trustees and executives from all 345 sub-Branches invited to sessions held all across the state.

“RSL NSW has gone through a tremendous amount of change in the last few years as we focused on modernising the League, setting a clear path for the future and ensuring our ways of working reflect the expectations of a charity in modern society,” said Ray James, Acting President of RSL NSW.

“Today’s historic vote shows us that our fellow members from across the state have understood the need to evolve and modernise, and is the result of a truly collaborative, state-wide effort between State Branch, the District Councils, sub-Branches and members. It also ensures we can all continue to focus on our mission of helping veterans and their families, including in new and different ways,”

“After several years of internal reflection and transformation, it is time to re-double our efforts as the state’s leading ex-service organisation, evolving our services and providing strong advocacy on key issues impacting our large and ever-growing veteran community. We are just as relevant today as we were 100 years ago but we must continue to look forward, and today’s vote allows us to do just that,”

“While I am proud of the work we do across the state and its impact, the need is never-ending. We cannot shy away from the fact that as a community we are not doing enough for veterans, including the 5,500-6,000 people transitioning out of the Australian Defence Force each and every year, many of whom will settle in New South Wales. Reaching these new veterans quickly upon discharge, improving the handling of veterans’ compensation claims and providing employment services and support networks all impact their lives’ journies and significantly, research has found, their overall mental wellbeing,”

“We also want to make sure we are supporting veteran-owned businesses and being open-minded and faster to respond in offering new ways of delivering support, camaraderie and community as it becomes clear. No ex-service organisation can do it all themselves, and we must continue to do more as a League, a veteran community, and a national family to help.” said Mr. James.

Today’s vote comes in the same week that RSL DefenceCare will launch its annual Poppy Appeal, one of two major annual fundraising periods, in the lead-up to Remembrance Day. Funds raised from this appeal will be used to support Australian veterans and their families in need.

Media Contact: David Wolf 0411 111 787 or

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