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News n Views August 2016

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RSL Runner June 2015

 

 

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 Edition 6  |  June, 2015

 NEW APPOINTMENTS AT RSL (QUEENSLAND BRANCH)

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This month has seen a changing of guard at RSL (Queensland Branch), with Stewart Cameron CSC elected as the new State President, and Luke Traini appointed to the role of CEO. Read more

 WORKPLACE REMUNERATION ARRANGEMENT DECISION 

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The Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal has issued their decision approving the Workplace Remuneration Arrangement increase with effect from 12 March 2015.

The full document is available here.

 QVSAC PRACTITIONER UPDATES

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Following the success of the recent Queensland Veterans’ Services Advisory Committee (QVSAC) training workshops, the Veterans’ Services department at RSL (Queensland Branch) have established a website to communicate updates to practitioners.View the website here.

The website will be updated as new information is available. We encourage those who have undertaken the QVSAC refresher training to keep checking this website regularly.

 RSL WOMEN VETERANS SYMPOSIUM

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Women have played an increasingly crucial role in Australia’s military history, and make up 15% of the current Australian Defence Force. Given this, the inaugural RSL Women Veterans Symposium is being held to provide valuable information about programs, support and benefits for women, both serving and ex-serving. Read more

 VETERANS’ HEALTH WEEK

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Veterans’ Health Week is an opportunity for veterans, war widows, widowers, current and ex-Australian Defence Force members and their families to participate, connect and influence the health and wellbeing of themselves and their friends. RSL Sub Branches are encouraged to plan and run an activity as part of Veterans’ Health Week, to be held between Saturday 10 and Sunday 18 October 2015. Read more

 2016 QUEENSLAND WEEK SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM

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Is your Sub Branch considering holding an event next year to celebrate our community spirit? Are you planning RSL Centenary activities for 2016 that are open to the wider community? If so, you may be eligible to apply for a grant under the 2016 Queensland Week Sponsorship Program. Read more

 TRANSITION & WELLBEING RESEARCH PROGRAMME

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A new research programme constituting the first Australian study designed to examine the physical, social and mental health and wellbeing of an entire cohort of recently transitioned ADF members is underway, and participants are being sought. Read more

 PERMISSION AND USE OF AUSTRALIAN ARMY EMBLEMS 

As use of the Rising Sun badge significantly increased in the lead up to Anzac Day 2015, the Australian Army were alerted to multiple uses of the Rising Sun badge in the public domain that were not correctly authorised or were misused either in design or placement. The Office of the Chief of the Army recently wrote to the RSL to raise awareness among our members of the use of the Australian Army emblems. Read more

2016 AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS

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Do you know a fellow RSL member who is inspiring, passionate and generous? Should their achievements be celebrated and highlighted on a national stage?

The Australian of the Year Awards are a great opportunity to recognise these people for their outstanding contribution. Nominations are now open. Read more

 FAR NORTHERN DISTRICT CONTACT DETAILS

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The Far Northern District of RSL (Queensland Branch) has recently moved offices. New contact details are:

Office address: 134 Grafton Street, Cairns Qld 4870
Postal address: PO Box 208, Cairns Qld 4870

District President: Peter Sterling
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 0432 124 519

District Secretary: Norma Short
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 0429 321 548 

 RSL (QUEENSLAND BRANCH) ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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Are you on social media? Like the RSL (Queensland Branch) Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, and watch videos on YouTube to stay up to date with what’s happening.

 

 

RSL Queensland – May Information Runner

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QUEENSLAND AGM NEXT MONTH

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The RSL (Queensland Branch) 2015 Annual General Meeting will be held in Brisbane from 19 to 21 June, with over 400 people set to attend the activities across three days. The 2014 Annual Report and 2015 AGM Documentation has been made available ahead of the AGM. Read more

 GOLD COAST DISTRICT REFORMATION 

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The recently reformed Gold Coast District of the RSL has held its first Special General Meeting, with members elected to the Executive, completing the reformation process. Read more

 RSL (QUEENSLAND BRANCH) SEEKING INTEREST FOR
POSITION OF STATE SECRETARY

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RSL (Queensland Branch) is seeking applications for the position of State Secretary. This role will be appointed by and report directly to the Board, and will work in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officer, with the responsibility for the provision and advice on governance, strategy and the achievement of RSL’s Objects. Read more
 

 RSL (QUEENSLAND BRANCH) SUPPORTING PTSD FORUM 

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Stand Tall for PTS and RSL (Queensland Branch) are partnering to bring you an international forum on PTSD at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, on the weekend of 11 and 12 September, 2015. Read more

 VETERANS’ PENSION INDEXATION TO REMAIN UNCHANGED

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RSL National President Rear Admiral Ken Doolan has welcomed the recent statement by the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs that the Government “has decided not to proceed with changes to pension indexation announced in the 2014-15 Budget.” Read more

 MATES4MATES ANNOUNCES NEW CEO

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The Mates4Mates Board have announced the appointment of the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer, Simon Sauer, effective 9 June, 2015. Read more

 QUEENSLAND ANZAC CENTENARY GRANTS PROGRAM
ROUND THREE NOW OPEN 

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The Queensland Government’s Anzac Centenary grants program has so far supported 141 community projects and events with over $3.2 million in funding. With the opening of round three, local organisations and communities across Queensland have another opportunity to secure funding for projects that commemorate the First World War. Read more

 VISION SPLENDID OUTBACK FILM FESTIVAL – TICKET GIVEAWAY

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In commemoration of the ANZAC Centenary, The Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, staged in Winton in outback Queensland, is screening Australian films to honour the Spirit of ANZAC. RSL (Queensland Branch) has two double passes to attend a Masterclass Luncheon and screening of Beneath Hill 60Read more

National President’s Newsletter No 6 of 2014

 

  1. RSL help for the Wounded Injured and Ill at the Invictus Games.

 

Many RSL members will have seen some of the extensive television and media coverage of the Invictus Games held in London last month. The effort put in by the RSL throughout the nation in actively supporting this event was highly commendable and was most favourably commented upon by many. I send my gratitude to all who provided that support.

 

In conveying this thanks I would be remiss if I did not single out one person in particular. NSW Branch State Councillor Mr Darren McManus- Smith organised and managed the RSL supported part of the team and worked tirelessly to ensure it was successfully integrated with the ADF supported part of the team. He did a superb job, a fact recently commented upon in a laudatory letter sent by the Head of the ADF staff at the Australian High Commission in London.

 

The RSL supported contingent numbered 21 and formed part of a total of 36. The team was warmly welcomed in the UK by teams from other nations and by those organising this most significant and important international event. Each team member was accompanied by a supporter with the RSL providing over $300,000 to ensure all needs were met.

 

Prior to the commencement of the Games, the entire team and supporters attended a reception at Australia House, London at which all had the opportunity of meeting and talking to His Royal Highness Prince Harry, the driving force behind the staging of the event.

 

During subsequent competition the Australian Invictus Games team acquitted themselves with great distinction, participated to the full and based on the discussions I had with many were helped significantly in their rehabilitation by their participation. All strove to give of their best and the friendly rivalry between teams and individuals from many nations did not overshadow the aim of the games in helping individual team members overcome the health setbacks they had experienced as a consequence of service in defence of the nation.

 

The challenge which participants, the ADF and the RSL now face is how best to assist the ongoing recovery of these folk and the many others similarly afflicted who were not able to participate in the Invictus Games.

 

In an attempt to quantify the health and wellbeing benefits gained by Invictus Games participants we are compiling as comprehensive a documentary as possible from the RSL supported members of the team. We will use this in further discussions with the ADF and in planning the way ahead.

 

A Recovery Summit was held on the penultimate day of competition to provide the leaders of national delegations with an opportunity of looking to the future and discussing outcomes and ideas. This was chaired by the UK’s Chief of Defence Personnel, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory and was addressed by Prince Harry.

 

In a recent letter General Gregory has advised that it is possible a new international forum on recovery may be formed. It is likely this will be kicked off by participation in a planned US Department of Defense symposium in 2015 titled “Warrior Care in the 21st Century.”

 

  1. RSL National Board Meeting Perth 27 October 2014.

 

Major topics for discussion or decision at the final Board meeting for 2014 include:

  • an RSL Strategic Plan
  • a Business Plan for the RSL National Office
  • revision of the RSL National Constitution
  • Plans for the 2016 RSL National Conference the year of the RSL

Centenary

  • Reports from RSL National Committees including submissions about

the forthcoming Defence White Paper and the ADF Pay Case (see

below).

 

To dispel misunderstandings which may have developed about the revision of RSL National Constitution I affirm that the first draft forwarded to all Branches earlier this year was exactly that – a first draft. It was the initiating action in a multi-step but essential consultative process needed to allow us to update this important document. No further work has been undertaken on the first draft pending receipt of comments and suggestions from Sub Branches and Branches. I encourage all members to become involved in this process and focus on constructive comment aimed at improving the draft. Central questions all might ask is how best can the RSL marshal and deploy our very significant human and financial resources in the years ahead to further promote our objects? And how can this be best expressed in our National Constitution?

 

  1. ADF Pay Case.

 

The RSL submission to the Defence Force Remuneration

Tribunal for the recent pay case given the title of “WRA” (Workplace Remuneration Arrangement) was forwarded on 19 October 2014. It read: “The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) would like to thank the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT) for the opportunity to make a submission on the 2014 Workplace Remuneration Arrangement (Matter no.9 of 2014).

 

The RSL cannot support the proposal as currently proposed for

consideration by the DFRT. The RSL cannot support any outcome from

the current WRA round that does not protect the value of ADF

Remuneration, especially where this will involve trade-offs of other

conditions of service.

 

We advise that we seek an outcome that supports the special nature of

defence service in determining all conditions of service for members of

the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and we express our disappointment

for a proposal which involves the trading-off of leave (and other

conditions) for pay rises which are less than CPI.

 

The RSL notes the WRA to be put forward for DFRT consideration is an

agreed position between the ADF and the Commonwealth, and in these

circumstances we do not oppose the proposal before the DFRT, but seek

to register our concern that the financial position of ADF personnel is

not being maintained at a time when Australia is asking significantly

more of our servicemen and women. We do note and support the

statement of the Chief of Defence (CDF) in his CDF Signal, released on

Friday 10 October 2014, that should circumstances require the

arrangement may be revisited and the CDF is able to return the matter

to the DFRT during the WRA period.”

 

 

Members may recall that on your behalf I have written previously to Government expressing concern about the process now in vogue which almost always results in the Government and the ADF presenting “agreed” ADF pay cases to the DFRT. We were rebuffed in our previous attempt to have this process revert to the procedure of yesteryear where most often the CDF presented a pay case on behalf of ADF personnel and the Government separately put its point of view. We intend raising this matter again.

 

At the recent DFRT hearing of the WRA case, the RSL was represented by the National Policy Advisor who spoke about the RSL concerns. At the time of writing the DFRT continues to reserve its decision about this pay case.

 

  1. RSL Annual Budget Submission.

 

Sincere thanks to all who put in considerable effort to allow the RSL to compile a detailed and comprehensive Submission to Government for the 2015/2016 Federal Budget. As previously advised this submission was more expansive than earlier versions in that we advised Government and the Opposition of what the RSL was achieving on behalf of the ex-service and veteran community and more broadly the Australian community. Amongst other matters we wrote that “the majority of ‘heavy lifting’ in the Welfare space is done by our volunteer Welfare Officers in the 1,200 sub Branches across Australia. It is conservatively estimated that these volunteer hours totalled 1,368,750 for the year 2013. At the nominal rate of $25 per hour this equates to a contribution to the nation of over $34M.”

 

That the Commonwealth Government respects and heeds what the RSL submits is evidenced by the text of a letter I have received from the Prime Minister. In his letter of 16 October 2014 Mr Abbott wrote “Thank you for your letter dated 29 August 2014 and the attached submission in regard to Veterans’ Affairs issues for consideration in the 2015-16 Federal Budget.

 

I appreciate the time you and the National Board and Members of the Returned and Services League of Australia have taken to consider these important issues.

 

 

I have referred your letter to the Treasurer, the Hon. Joe Hockey MP, who has portfolio responsibility for the Federal Budget. I have also provided a copy of your letter to the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson.

 

Once again, thank you for bringing these matters to my attention.”

 

  1. 2015 Defence White Paper RSL Input.

 

We are on track to complete and forward a substantial submission for consideration by the team charged by Government with compiling the proposed 2015 Defence White Paper. Given the current and foreseeable uncertain strategic outlook this statement of Government policy will be of particular importance and it is to be hoped will take account of submissions from organisations such as the RSL.

 

Members of the National Defence and Defence Personnel and Families Committees have made significant contributions to our input and are deserving of our thanks.

 

  1. Significant Diary Events.

 

During the past few months I have had the privilege of meeting many RSL members at various events. Attendance at the Invictus Games in September and at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association in October provided me with the opportunity of meeting with many of our international colleagues and of advising about current RSL issues. In mid- September it was a great pleasure to host one of two London based Royal Commonwealth Ex-Service League representatives at the Australian War Memorial when Viscount Slim visited Australia. He has for many years represented the RSL most ably at the regular London RCEL meetings and I am most grateful for his diligence in so doing.

 

On 23/24 September I much enjoyed the hospitality of the Bundaberg Sub-Branch as they and others came together to commemorate the Centenary of the departure of Army Nurses to World War 1. Then on

11 October I was honoured to attend and address the very large gathering who attended the dedication at Hervey Bay of the magnificent new Memorial in the shape of a mounted member of the Light Horse at Hervey Bay. The Sub-Branch President John Kelsey, the Committee and members of the Hervey Bay Sub-Branch worked tirelessly with the local community to bring this important memorial to the ANZAC Centenary to fruition and are to be commended on a job extremely well done. It certainly showed what the RSL can do in fostering community spirit and of reminding all of what this important centenary means. Most recently I travelled to Brisbane to attend the funeral of the late Viv Quinn, a tireless worker on behalf of so many members of the RSL not only in Queensland but across the nation. I thank the Gaythorne Sub-Branch President and his Committee for the warmth of the welcome I was accorded during the wake following the funeral.

Over the Front

  Congratulations to former Army General & Chief of the Defence Force Peter Cosgrove on his appointment as our next Governor-General.  In this year marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War and next years commemoration of the Gallipoli landings, it is appropriate that a military man is in our highest office at this time.

  Two Bristol Fighters of the Australian Flying Corps c. 1918  see 200 page novel on RAAF Formation

 

We often think of Army soldiers as our “Diggers” but they are also the airmen and sailors of the Air Force and Navy.  “Going over the Top” was what our soldiers did in the trenches of WWI but the foundations of the RAAF were also established 100 years ago during that conflict by the men of the Australian Flying Corp who went “Over the Front”.   Established in 1912 as a branch of the Army, the AFC sent an aircraft to assist in capturing German colonies in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in 1914, well before the Gallipoli campaign.  These airmen served in the Middle East, Egypt and France during the war, often flying low level combat air support by strafing and bombing enemy lines.  Other duties included air reconnaissance and artillery spotting along with air-to-air fighting engaging enemy planes.   In 1921 the Royal Australian Air Force was founded and continues the fine traditions established by the AFC in WWI.  The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century’s major conflicts including the Second World War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. More recently the RAAF participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and is still involved with the War in Afghanistan. The motto on the RAAF’s coat of arms is the Latin phrase Per ardua ad astra, which means “Through Adversity to the Stars”   Across this year in 2014 we will begin to look at the traditions and accomplishments of our Defence Force 100 years ago along with the men and women who serve our great nation.           “Lest We Forget”

Guidelines on the Special Rate and Intermediate Rate of Disability Pension

The attached letter is to advise that the Repatriation Commission has endorsed revised Guidelines on the Special Rate and Intermediate Rate of disability pension under the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986 (VEA). The revised Guidelines are titled CM6882 Special Rate and Intermediate Rate of pension and are now available in the Department of Veteran Affairs Consolidated Library of Information and Knowledge.  Click Here

Letter to ESO RT Members Regarding Special Rate and Intermediate Rate Guidelines – 14 JUN 2013

 

 

SECFOR Newsletter Issue 3.

Click on the first page below to view Security Force 1’s  newsletter in full.

State President’s Newsletter – Edition 1

Click on the first page below to view State President Terry Meehan’s newsletter in full.

 

National President’s Newsletter No 2 of 2013

Here is the latest newsletter from National President Ken Doolan. Click here to read it in full, the first paragraphs of Item 1

Letter from Prime Minister Gillard.   Members of the League will recall that I wrote to
the Prime Minister on 4 October 2012 forwarding a document titled ‘An RSL
Perspective’. The Prime Minister replied to this letter on 4 February 2013 thanking
the League for the submission and noting that the “Australian Government
recognises the role of the RSL as having a specific place in Australia’s identity and
supporting our veterans and families of conflicts past and present.”
The League asked the Prime Minister to ‘respond to our detailed submission about
the indexation of military superannuation and the separation of military
superannuation schemes from other Commonwealth superannuation schemes’……..

Read more here