A Vietnam veteran who rose to the rank of Major after enlisting in the Australian Defence Force is the RSL’s new National President. RSL NSW President Rod White AM RFD was elected to the RSL’s most senior position at the organisation’s annual general meeting in Melbourne today.
For his service to the RSL and the broader ex-service community, Mr White has received the Australian Centenary Medal and been appointed a Life Member of the RSL. Mr White said he was excited and honoured to lead the League into its second century.
“I joined the RSL in 1971 and have been a champion of its work and Australia’s veteran community ever since,” Mr White said.
Within the RSL, he has had extensive experience including Branch President, State Councillor, Trustee of the Welfare & Benevolent Institution, Director of the ANZAC House Trust plus several other key appointments.
Mr White serves on the Board of RSL LifeCare, the Army Museum of NSW Victoria Barracks Paddington and is on the executive of Regimental committees.
“My priority, of course, will be the betterment of both the veteran community and serving members of the ADF, together with their dependents,” he said.
“I also hope to further enhance society’s knowledge and awareness of our military heritage, so Australians never forget the sacrifices that have been made to preserve our freedoms.”
Besides his involvement with veteran welfare, Mr White has a keen interest in corporate governance, Australian military and social history and is a regular lawn bowler. He succeeds Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO, who has served as RSL National President since 2009.
“The RSL has served the nation well for 100 years and, thanks to the dedication and hard work I have seen over the past seven years, I’m certain it will continue to do so,” RADM Doolan said.
“There are challenges ahead meeting the needs of the next generation of veterans but the RSL, with continued public and corporate support, is ready and able to support our Defence members during and after their service.”