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State Secretary Newsletter – 26 June 2019

Dear Members,


Fundraising Update

I have heard some sub-Branches have already applied for and received charitable fundraising authorities (CFAs) after the fundraising ban was lifted earlier this month. It is great to hear that the process with NSW Fair Trading is working. We anticipate that many more sub-Branches will be receiving their CFAs over coming months and we are keen to hear anecdotes of your experiences resuming normal fundraising activities. Auxiliaries will also be able to resume normal fundraising under their sub-Branch’s CFA. Please send stories and photos to for inclusion in the September issue of Reveille.

Once again, a CFA is not required for all kinds of fundraising, and sub-Branches should investigate whether their intended activities require a CFA. Sub-Branches applying for a CFA may require a digital copy of the existing constitution. Last week’s newsletter included a broken link to that document. The constitution is available on our website but can also be accessed by clicking here.

A letter from Robyn Collins, our CEO, offering high-level guidance for sub-Branches approaching NSW Fair Trading is available on the RSL NSW website (click here). NSW Fair Trading is the ultimate authority on fundraising legislation and should be your main source of information regarding your exact obligations. You can find much of this information online (click here) or by contacting them on 13 32 20. Further high-level information is available from Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law, a charity providing legal help to community organisations which is also running our ongoing governance training for sub-Branch executives – visit them online (click here) or call 1300 637 529.


Constitution Online

The new draft constitution is now available from the RSL NSW website homepage through the “Constitution 2019” tile or by clicking here. We will publish feedback as we receive it from District Councils consulting with their sub-Branches.

A reminder that all sub-Branches will also have received a copy of the draft at their official RSL NSW email address. There remains ample opportunity to have a look at the document and pass your thoughts and any questions on to your District Council. District leaders were consulted closely by the board, particularly the sub-committee of seven elected by their peers to help draft the document (the DC7). Your District Council has a direct line to me, and will be your guide to the constitution and your best point of contact for all questions and feedback through this process. Thanks to those who have already been using this channel – this helps us to process a high volume of feedback and will ensure nothing is missed.

The new draft is a product of this input from the districts as well as direct sub-Branch feedback through the SVA survey conducted earlier in the year. Between now and 15 July, you will have the opportunity to input toward the final draft that will be presented to members in late August and voted on at the October congress in Albury. I ask that you direct all comments and questions through your District Council.


Drafting SOPs

While we await feedback on this draft, we have begun developing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that will go with the final constitution. The DC7 sub-committee of District Council representatives will be helping with this process.

The SOPs will be a practical guide to help executives run a sub-Branch. Importantly, they will not be rigid, step-by-step instructions that specify dinner menus and dress codes. Rather, they will allow the flexibility needed to accommodate an incredible diversity of sub-Branches both metro and remote. Areas covered will be:

  • Charitable purpose
  • Ceremonies (including commemoration)
  • Governance and administration (including elections, roles and responsibilities, meetings, membership, and auxiliaries)
  • Grants
  • Managing assets (including sales and leases, reporting, and operational expenses such as travel)


By-Law Amendments and Submission of Congress Motions

At their last meeting, the board approved multiple amendments to By-Law 11 to reflect the shift of congress and our AGM to the second half of the year (itself accommodating ANZAC House’s move to a financial year).

The changes set a deadline of ten weeks before an AGM for State Branch to receive all motions for that year’s congress. Given that the 2019 congress will be held between 27-30 October, with the AGM taking place on 29 October, the deadline for motions this year will be Tuesday, 20 August. All motions need to be submitted to District Councils for endorsement and then received by State Branch no later than this date.

By-Law 4, Item 3 was also amended to reflect the appointment of a registrar to the newly re-instituted RSL NSW Tribunal. You can see all By-Laws on our website (click here).


Board Charter

The Board Charter was approved by the board at a meeting earlier this month. It sets out the role, structure and responsibilities of the board. You can access it on the RSL NSW website by clicking here.


Vice Regal Patronage

This week I was advised that Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, the newly sworn-in Governor of New South Wales, has agreed to be the Patron of RSL NSW. This will continue a long tradition of Vice Regal patronage for the League. Her spouse, Mr Dennis Wilson, has similarly agreed to be the Patron of RSL NSW Auxiliaries.

On behalf of the League I thank Her Excellency and Mr Wilson for their support in the important work we do. Short biographies of both Her Excellency and Mr Wilson are available at the Governor’s website (click here).


Queen’s Birthday Honours

On behalf of the board, I acknowledge the following recipients of 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours. I have endeavoured to mention all members who have been honoured but apologise to those who I have missed.

  • Michael Wells Askey RFD ED, Hornsby sub-Branch
  • Peter Astridge, Gladesville sub-Branch
  • Pamela Bowmaker, Dapto-Port Kembla sub-Branch
  • Margot Capp, Gresford Auxiliary
  • The Honourable Dennis Antill Cowdroy OAM QC, ANZAC House
  • Roger James Donsworth, Epping sub-Branch
  • Patsy Loretto Edwards, Gosford sub-Branch
  • Commander Nicholas Robert Field RAN, City of Queanbeyan sub-Branch
  • Lieutenant Commander Belinda Ann Finlay RAN, Huskisson sub-Branch
  • Peter Eric Harley, Harbord sub-Branch
  • Ralph Edward Heness, Paddington/Woollahra sub-Branch
  • Gordon James Holland, City of Campbelltown sub-Branch
  • Reginald Joseph Jamieson, Moree sub-Branch
  • Dierdre Elizabeth Landells, Narooma sub-Branch
  • David James McCann OAM, Coolamon sub-Branch
  • The late Alfred Charles McGrath PSM, Oatley sub-Branch
  • Patrick McMahon, Inverell sub-Branch
  • Clement Raymond McNamara, Bomaderry sub-Branch
  • Jack McNaughton, Cardiff sub-Branch
  • Ian Edwin Meek, Forestville sub-Branch
  • The late Allan Miles, Coogee Randwick Clovelly sub-Branch
  • Nicholas Nadycz, Cootamundra sub-Branch
  • John Lindsay Rogers, City of Parramatta sub-Branch
  • The late John Stewart Shirley, Kyogle sub-Branch
  • Robyn Anne Spruce, Casino sub-Branch
  • Richard Llewellyn Stone, City of Queanbeyan sub-Branch
  • Margaret Bell Wells, Springwood sub-Branch
  • Mabel Anita West, Ingleburn Auxiliary


Jeff O’Brien

State Secretary

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