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State Secretary Newsletter – 29 May 2019

Dear Members,


Governance Training

An invitation has been issued to metropolitan sub-Branches scheduled to attend the first round of training sessions, which will take place at the Hyde Park Inn at 271 Elizabeth Street, Sydney. Please check your official sub-Branch email inbox, and RSVP to even if you are not able to attend your session.

If any metropolitan sub-Branches have not yet received their invitation they should contact the Support Unit at or on 1300 679 775.


Email Communications

A reminder that official email communications from ANZAC House will continue to be sent to your RSL NSW-supplied email address. To ensure we recognise the importance of any incoming emails, we prefer that sub-Branch executives also use their official sub-Branch email accounts for all official correspondence to ANZAC House. If you need help accessing this email address, please contact the Support Unit.

Of course, private or non-official emails can continue to be used by sub-Branches for all other business.


Indigenous Veterans Commemoration Ceremony

The 13th annual Indigenous Veterans Commemoration Ceremony will be held this Friday, 31 May in Hyde Park South, Sydney. It will begin with a smoking ceremony at the Yininmadyemi memorial to Indigenous servicemen and women (adjacent to Elizabeth Street) at 10:40 am, before a service at the Pool of Reflection at 11:00 am.

The service has been organised by the Indigenous Veterans Commemoration Service Coordinating Committee with assistance from RSL NSW, and is one of several being held across Australia during National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) in recognition of the service and sacrifice of Indigenous veterans.


RSL DefenceCare Staff

Last month, in the lead-up to ANZAC Day, I introduced you to the team in ANZAC House supporting the work of our volunteer Welfare and Pension Officers across the state. Through RSL DefenceCare, the League is representing veterans at the Veterans’ Review Board, helping them recover through sport, providing financial assistance for those still struggling against drought, and much more. Here are the remaining members of the team:

Di and Margot are our Administration Receptionists, handling all incoming calls and emails, and trained to deal sensitively with vulnerable clients and families under extreme stress. Di has been with RSL DefenceCare for over four years. After a long stint in a reception role with a specialist medical firm, she was looking for a role in which she could make a more tangible impact. Being married to a currently-serving member of the RAN with over 39 years’ service, veterans’ welfare was an opportunity close to her heart. She is proud of the work the team does every day but, as any sub-Branch volunteer knows, the schedule can be draining – to unwind, Di reads avidly, keeps fit through walking and gym classes, and travels (with one son in Byron Bay and another in Christchurch, she always has a good excuse).

Margot came to RSL DefenceCare after working with a charity offering support, assistance and information to families experiencing highly challenging periods, including those going through separation and divorce. She has also worked in the adventure travel industry, spending time in India, Nepal and South Africa along the way. With close family connections to military service in Gallipoli and New Guinea, helping veterans struck her as a more meaningful way to be of service in the community. Outside of work, Margot is a keen snorkeller, travelling the world in search of the most pristine reefs, and was once runner up for best dressed at the Parkes Elvis Festival.

And finally, Mamour is our Housing Project Officer, working with veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness – whether due to financial hardship, mental illness or family breakdown. He finds them safe accommodation, carries out inspections and follow-ups, and supports them through an intensely difficult period of their lives. Mamour has a long background in welfare including extensive experience working with vulnerable youth and was drawn to the chance to apply this experience to helping veterans. Originally from South Africa, he is a keen Liverpool FC fan and wakes up far too early on weekends to watch his team.

Thank you sincerely for supporting RSL DefenceCare as part of your contribution to the League. The welfare work they share with our sub-Branch volunteers is making a real difference to veterans in need.


Jeff O’Brien

State Secretary

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