Resignation of RSL NSW President

The Board of RSL NSW has thanked President James Brown for his service to the League after receiving his resignation on Wednesday 19 June.

The Board resolved to accept Mr Brown’s resignation effective from 1 July 2019.

Senior Vice President and RSL NSW Board Member Ray James has been appointed by the Board as Acting President.

“It is with a heavy heart that the Board of RSL NSW accepts James’ resignation,” Acting President Ray James said today.

“James commenced his volunteer service in 2017 during the Bergin Inquiry and capably led RSL NSW through a period of unprecedented crisis. The Board recognises the sacrifices James and his young family have made during this time.

“During his two years as RSL NSW Board Member and President, the Board has been united under James’ presidency and has worked effectively together to restore the reputation of RSL NSW. Thankfully, the governance, systems and processes of the organisation have all been rebuilt under James’ leadership.”

The Board has been advised by Mr Brown of his intention to apply for the role of CEO of RSL NSW. Should he apply, his application will be treated the same as all other applications.

Although it is open to the Board to fill the casual vacancy created by Mr Brown’s resignation, it hopes to call an election as early as possible next year once the overhaul of RSL NSW membership records and processes is complete to enable a “one member, one vote” election as required by the RSL NSW Act 2018.

Members will be given an update at the next RSL NSW State Congress to be held in Albury in October.

ELECTION 2019 – RSL NSW Veterans’ Policy Debate – 13 May 2019

This Federal Election Veterans’ Policy Debate between the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Darren Chester MP, and the shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, Amanda Rishworth MP, was chaired by RSL NSW President, James Brown at the ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney.

Find Your Local Remembrance Day Service

This Sunday, 11 November represents a particularly special Remembrance Day – the Centenary of the Armistice of WWI.

There are more than 200 Remembrance Day services and special Armistice Centenary events organised by RSL Sub Branches around Queensland, including the service hosted by RSL Queensland at the Shrine of Remembrance in Ann St, Brisbane City.

Find your closest service and bring your family along to mark this significant anniversary.


RSL National President Robert Dick resigns following charity probe

RSL National President Robert Dick resigned at the charity’s board meeting on Thursday, amid an investigation into the organisation’s governance and accountability issues.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission said Mr Dick’s decision to step down was taken to “put the interests of the charity and the RSL first.”

The Bergin inquiry – which reported on RSL NSW, DefenceCare and the charity’s aged-care arm RSL Lifecare – along with the ACNC’s own investigations, led to the investigation of RSL National.

Spending by the RSL NSW had fallen into the spotlight after it was discovered that the former state president Don Rowe had spend $475,000 on his corporate credit card over four years.

The national charity regulator directed RSL National in February to enlist a governance expert to review its board and governance practices, and develop an action plan to address its shortcomings.

The ACNC said Mr Dick’s resignation acknowledges the need for new leadership to implement “significant changes” once the plan – developed with KPMG – is finalised at the end of this month.

“The governance improvement Action Plan resulting from the KPMG review will contain a clear set of recommendations to address current, critical governance issues and the need for a broader, more strategic process of reform and improvement,” ACNC Commissioner Dr Gary Johns said.

“RSL National will soon have a clear path forward and know what steps it must take to get back on track.”

RSL ACT president John King will fill the vacant role until new appointments are made.

“RSL National is committed to improving its governance and accountability, in order to fulfil our important role as the peak body of RSL in Australia,” said Mr King.

RSL members will have to wait until “governance and compliance is improved” before being allowed to elect a new RSL National president.

Read the full SMH article


National RSL president resigns amid probe – The Australian

DVA Minister – RSL Continues Supporting Veteran Community

download 16MINISTER for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester has today reiterated the importance of the Returned and Services League (RSL) to the veteran community following the announcement that Robert Dick has stood down as National President of the RSL.

“I thank Mr Dick for his 21 years of service in the Royal Australian Air Force and his significant contribution to the RSL and veteran community and wish him well in his future endeavours,” Mr Chester said.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the RSL and Mr Dick’s successor in the future to ensure that our ex-service men and women receive the services and support they need.”

“The RSL has played a vital role in supporting the veteran community since it was established over 100 years ago by offering care, financial assistance, advocacy and commemorative services,” Mr Chester said.

“The Government is committed to putting veterans and their families first, and working with the RSL and other ex-service organisations is an important part of this commitment.”

Read the full Release

Open Letter to the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP Prime Minister of Australia




Dear Prime Minister,

Call to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation

The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations and the Returned & Services League of Australia, on behalf of 230,000 serving and former Australian Defence Force men and women, and their families, whose superannuation is managed by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) cordially pose you the question:
“Why is the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation excluded from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry”?

CSC is the only significant superannuation entity in Australia to avoid examination with the Government claiming that it is “not only already well-regulated but is also subject to greater scrutiny and accountability than other funds by Acts of Parliament, by the Australian National Audit Office, and through oversight by a Senate Estimates process”.

Those very same ‘well-regulated’ claims were initially made as arguments against holding a Banking Royal Commission. What has transpired at recent Commission hearings starkly exposed the inability of established regulators to deal with misconduct. No misconduct is necessarily implied against CSC but what possible confidence could anyone now have that the very same or similar inability to properly scrutinise should not apply to CSC’s regulators as well.

Simply put, the veterans’ community is not convinced of assurances that CSC is as well oversighted and regulated as has been the claim thus far. As an example, if CSC always acts in the best interests of its members, what could have driven legal proceedings, self-funded by disabled individual exservice personnel as recently as last week, seeking redress for claimed unfairness and injustices.

The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference say: “All Australians have the right to be treated honestly and fairly in their dealings with…. superannuation…. providers.”

The Defence Family of 230,000 service men and women, serving and retired, and those they leave behind, are also Australians. Why is their superannuation provider excluded from Royal Commission scrutiny? Why deny the Defence Family an equal voice in making submissions to the Royal Commission?

We urge you to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation in the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference without further delay. Fairness demands nothing less!

Yours sincerely,





Kel Ryan                                                                                Robert Dick
National Spokesman                                                           National President
Alliance of Defence Service Organisations                      RSL Australia
Mobile: 0418 759 120                                                           Mobile: 0448 889 848

Phone: (02) 6265 9530   Email: [email protected] ABN: 49 929 713 439




RSL & ADSO Comments

The Open Letter has been sent to the PM and all Federal Parliamentarians, the Defence Family network and national media outlets.

The ALP has announced its support for our request here.

We ask your support for the CSC to be included in the Royal Commission by calling the PM (both his electorate office (02) 9327 3988 and parliamentary office (02) 6277 7700) and your local Federal member at their electorate office (details at  , ideally before Parliament resumes next week 18th June or during the Parliament sittings (18 – 21 June and 25 – 28 June)
Thank you Australia.









Watch this video for a glimpse into the innovative Human Performance Framework at 3rd Brigade in Townsville.

Supported by RSL (Queensland Branch), the framework enhances the resilience of soldiers and their families via three main pillars – the Vasey Resilience Centre, which builds performance and resilience, Geckos Family Centre, which looks after their families, and the Soldier Recovery Centre, which provides rehabilitation.

Find out more information.

Opinion – RSL must return to its core ideals

 For an Organisation whose fundamental inspiration was the bonds of mateship forged in war, the Returned and Services League of Australia is in deep crisis.
The model those old Diggers envisaged is in danger of splintering beyond repair.
It has become an organisation at war within itself, including the very demographic from which it should draw its fundamental support.
Shunned by younger veterans who are essential to its survival, RSL organisational control remains in the hands of many who seem most resistant to change.


The besieged New South Wales branch of the RSL has a new president after Malcolm Turnbull’s son-in-law, James Brown, was elected to replace John Haines.

Today’s election came after months of allegations of financial misconduct at the top of the organisation.


Mr Brown, 36, is an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran.


Opinion – RSL struggles to stay relevant

In its 102nd year the Returned and Services League of Australia faces its greatest crisis, its future survival in the balance.The RSL is an organisation which should be arguing for veterans’ rights and benefits. It should be assisting veterans to access those while recreating the camaraderie of military service. Unless the RSL changes now, the Ode of Remembrance in future may state “we don’t remember it”.
That is not an option worth considering.
Read Ross Eastgate’s full article here