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Veterans march on Newcastle to attend RSL conference

Hundreds of veterans will descend on Newcastle next week to attend the RSL NSW Annual Congress and General Meeting at the Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Over 240 representatives from 320 RSL sub-Branches across the State will come together on Monday and Tuesday to discuss, debate, and vote on key issues affecting the Returned & Services League and the wider veteran community at the event hosted by veteran and commentator, Catherine McGregor.

Guests will watch presentations from The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of NSW, Chief of the Australian Defence Force Angus Campbell, the Secretary Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Elizabeth Cosson, and the Commissioners of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide will address key issues affecting the defence and veteran community.

RSL Australia and veteran-owned technology provider Servulink will officially launch the ‘Veterans’ Catalogue’ web app at the event. The development of the app has been sponsored by the RSL and will empower veterans and their families to more easily find and access critical services and support, both in their community and nationally, when needed.

RSL NSW President Ray James said that the event provides an opportunity to review the implementation status of the RSL NSW Strategic Plan 2021-26, the organisation’s ongoing response to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, and the plan for expanding the network of Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs in key locations across NSW, including the Hunter region.

“For more than 100 years, the RSL has been the leading ex-service support and advocacy service for veterans and their families, and it must continue to be accessible and relevant to all veterans and their families, not just members,” Mr James said.

“This is the first time since 2019 that members from across the State have come together to discuss how the League can ensure that every veteran and their family are connected to the support that they need after serving their country.”

Mr James said that camaraderie is an important component of the event, and the delegates will come together at the Bar Beach Bowling Club on Monday evening to play bowls, walking football, and trivia with their mates.

This year, RSL NSW sub-Branches donated $3.1 million to the organisation’s partner charity, RSL LifeCare, to ensure the ongoing delivery of critical services such as DVA claim support and advocacy, housing and homelessness services, and employment, financial, wellbeing, and disaster support.

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