State Secretary Newsletter – 10 October 2019

Dear Members,



Our thoughts are again with those in and around Casino and Tenterfield threatened by fire. Traumatic events amplify the need for camaraderie. For those whose homes are at risk, please keep in mind that RSL DefenceCare, our direct veterans’ services unit, can provide financial assistance to those hit by disaster—call 8088 0388 and select option 1. Much of this support is possible thanks to donations from sub-Branches themselves.


Standard Operating Procedures

We have recently received some questions about the place of the draft standard operating procedures (SOPs) at the upcoming congress. For clarification, there will be no vote on the SOPs at congress. Along with sub-Branch motions, there will be a vote on the proposed new constitution—by itself.

If the new constitution is voted in successfully, the SOPs will continue to be fine-tuned through October and November up to the commencement date of 1 December 2019. Before that date they will require approval first by the proposed District Presidents’ Council (DPC), and then by the Board. The SOPs will then take the place of the current by-laws and regulations, having exactly the same standing. However, members will retain the power to review and amend these documents as needed, including through the DPC.

But for the time being, until 1 December, the drafting process proceeds in close partnership with the District Councils. Updated drafts will continue to be shared on the RSL NSW website, up to and beyond congress, so members can track their progress and provide feedback. Thank you for your ongoing participation.


Congress Registrations

All sub-Branches and District Councils should remember to register for congress by Thursday, 17 October through our website (click here). 221 sub-Branches have already done so and we hope many more will over the next week.

Registration is important to ensure catering is sufficient. If you need help please contact the Support Unit at or 1300 679 775.

As always, financial assistance is available for those requiring it to make the trip to Albury—this is possible due to the generosity of 22 sub-Branches and one District Council, who were named in yesterday’s President Update (click here).


Special Submarine Operations

Last week we were informed of the reclassification of Special Submarine Operations service from 1 January 1993 to 12 May 1997 as operational and qualifying service under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA). Those current and former serving members with such service will now be eligible for the service pension at age 60 (subject to income and asset tests) and a Gold Card at age 70. Through DVA’s Non-Liability Health Care program they will also have access to treatment for any mental health condition, any malignant cancer, and pulmonary tuberculosis, regardless of the link to military service.


Thank you for reading,

Jeff O’Brien
State Secretary

Suggested Reads
The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) National position on any decision to revoke the Meritorious Unit Citation (MUC) for the Special Operations Task Group.   More
3 December 2020
RSL NSW is committed to working with Veteran Sport Australia and to connecting members and sub-Branches by facilitating activities that encourage camaraderie, which plays a critical role in Veteran mental health and wellbeing.    More
30 November 2020
The RSL NSW Board has issued an update to members following its meeting on 25 November 2020.   More
26 November 2020