7 December, 2018
The past month has been extremely busy for us all, as we commemorated the Centenary of the Armistice.
Despite ANZAC Square not being finished in time, thousands of people turned up for the Remembrance Day Ceremony. There was very little room to move, which is a great indication of the community’s support of this momentous occasion.
Later that day, we enjoyed a great afternoon of Australian music at Freedom Sounds. What a fantastic event! This concert provided an opportunity for the community to celebrate the Centenary of the Armistice, not unlike the celebrations that spontaneously occurred when the Australian public heard the news of the ceasefire 100 years ago. Freedom Sounds was a credit to RSL Queensland, and I have received many comments and emails of congratulations on the event.
As State President, I was privileged to attend commemorations and celebrations across the State – from the launch of the Legacy Gallery at Queensland Museum to dinner with the South Burnett Orchestra in Kingaroy, from the Pioneer Fitzroy Highlands Armistice Centenary Dinner in Mackay to the Centenary of Armistice commemoration at Victoria Barracks. I thank each and every Sub Branch for the effort they made to commemorate this important centenary and for the many kind invitations I received.
Before I go any further into the events of the past few weeks, I want to address an issue that has become more prevalent since I was elected in June.
There seems to be an expectation among certain members that RSL Queensland is the arbiter of all issues arising at Sub Branch level. This is not the case. Sub Branch matters must be dealt with at Sub Branch level, except in two instances:
RSL Queensland is more than happy to provide advice and guidance, and our staff have provided valuable advice on several occasions. However, reporting a matter to RSL Queensland does not take the responsibility from the individual to report it to the relevant authority.
In the week following Remembrance Day I travelled with State Secretary Scott Denner and Mates4Mates Chair Rick Ralph to Townsville, where we visited Lavarack Barracks at the invitation of 3 Brigade Commander BRIG GEN Scott Winter. We were shown the Human Performance Centre that is supported by RSL Queensland, and ate lunch with the outgoing Resilience Program participants. The visit provided us with very valuable insights into the achievements of the Human Performance Centre, which I hope will have positive outcomes for RSL Queensland in future.
The visit also provided an opportunity to talk with the Townsville Bulletin about our new employment module, Veterans Onboard. Veterans Onboard provides a training package for employers that aims to dispel the misperceptions and provide encouragement to consider veteran employees.
In recent weeks, I have attended several District Council meetings to present on the draft Constitution and discuss issues relating to the direction of the League. These have been largely positive with frank and open discussions, and I thank the Districts for having me there.
Leane and I were recently invited to Government House where I had the distinct privilege of briefing His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York, on the excellent work being done by RSL Queensland staff and volunteers to support current and former Defence personnel and their families.
With the seasonal festivities already upon us, Leane and I would like to wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas.
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