As the RSL recognises 100 years of serving the veteran community in 2016, touches of celebration of this milestone were reflected throughout the RSL (Queensland Branch) Annual General Meeting, held in Townsville in June.
From photo presentations reflecting the history of Australia’s veteran community, to special RSL Centenary gifts, and even centenary-decorated cupcakes, there were subtle reminders of how significant this year’s AGM was. But it was the business session discussion that truly reflected where the RSL in Queensland is today: firmly focused on opening the lines of communication and dialogue that matters, as the League works toward being relevant and providing for veterans into the future.
A key component of the proceedings was the openness displayed by RSL (Queensland Branch) State President Mr Stewart Cameron CSC, who launched the President’s Forum with discussion around key areas of interest, before handing over to the Sub Branch delegates to lead the questioning.
Delegates had an opportunity to provide input on topics as broad as Sub Branches helping Sub Branches, the real meaning of dawn services, RSL branding, welfare spending, women in the League, succession planning and language as part of the State President’s discussion forum. With several hours on both days dedicated to answering questions, this year's AGM was more focused than ever on ensuring member views were heard and inform the future direction of the League.
An opportunity to ask questions of recently appointed RSL (Queensland Branch) State Secretary and General Manager of Veterans Services, Mr Scott Denner, was also popular among delegates, with many taking the opportunity to have their queries about pensions and welfare training, and interactions with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, answered.
RSL (Queensland Branch) CEO Mr Luke Traini presented his view on the unique position that the organisation is in from both charity and business perspectives, as well as an update on the foundational development work that he has been spearheading at ANZAC House, to ensure the services provided by RSL (Queensland Branch) are efficient, forward thinking and keep up with progressing technology.
While presentations by guest speakers played a smaller part at this year’s AGM, Delegates heard from Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, The Honourable Dan Tehan MP, and Senator Chris Ketter, who represented the Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. Of particular interest to the audience were presentations by Graeme Mickleberg on the Australian Military Covenant and David Singer on the role of young veterans in the League, which were received with great interest.
While the more open and less formal format of the business sessions was well-received, Mr Cameron promised further breakout discussion forums in the future, and closed the official proceedings by stating that he would see all again at the 2017 RSL (Queensland Branch) State Congress, to be held in Brisbane.
View Mr Cameron's presentation slides from the President's Discussion Forum at the RSL (Queensland Branch) 2016 AGM here (PDF)