Ladies and gentlemen,
I want to begin by thanking you for the trust that you have placed in me as your State President. I was humbled and moved by your support for me at our recent Annual General Meeting (AGM). My obligation is to provide you with the leadership and support that you need to help those current and former servicemen and women who need our assistance. Secondly, I want to thank Terry and Sue Meehan for their dedication and contributions to the RSL in Queensland over the past four years.
For those who were at the AGM what I am about to say is old news: however, you all need to understand what I want to focus on. Let me start by saying that there was a very passionate discussion on the State Constitution and while I understand the need for such debate I trust that in future we will be more passionate about discussing how we are meeting the Objects of the League. My position is very simple: we have an obligation to help those in need and the provision of welfare must be our highest priority.
As you would expect, and as I outlined before the AGM, we are changing the way your Board operates. We have agreed that we will have monthly meetings and a number of the Board Meetings will be held in the Districts. Our next Board meeting is scheduled for late July and will be held in Cairns. Before we begin the formal part of the meeting we will hold an open forum where District representatives will be able to meet with and ask questions of the Board. I am determined that we will operate in an open and transparent way.
To that end the Board and the staff of Anzac House met last Monday. The message that I imparted was that we exist to help those in need, nothing else is of great importance. We will operate in an environment where we are all focused on helping and that I operate with an ‘open door’ policy. We must be able to trust each other, communicate freely and ask the hard questions and expect to have our questions answered.
We need to understand that the RSL in Queensland is undergoing some change at the moment: I have been elected as your President, Mr Luke Traini has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer and we are, finally, in the process of engaging a State Secretary. Luke and I are in the process of understanding the issues, asking questions and discussing options. This is not to suggest that we both are working independently of your Board. Your Executive: Deputy, Vice and myself are now working as a close team along with the other Directors. My intent is that we will act as a cohesive team focused on the provision of welfare.
In closing, again I want to thank you for your trust and confidence in me and the Team which I lead. I intend to communicate to you on a very regular basis and visit as widely as possible across Queensland.