Building structures to better serve veteran needs

RSL Queensland 20 August 2021

RSL Queensland and Mates4Mates are today announcing changes designed to better serve veterans’ needs today, tomorrow and into the future.

In 2019, RSL Queensland developed the 2025 Enterprise Strategy, outlining a shared pursuit for RSL Queensland and Mates4Mates (a subsidiary of RSL Queensland) to deliver a bright future and enduring legacy for all veterans and their families. The 2025 Enterprise Strategy aims to help RSL Queensland become the most valued and trusted partner to enrich the Australian Defence Family’s Quality of Life.  


Integral to the operationalisation of the 2025 Enterprise Strategy has been the collaborative, coordinated development of the Veteran Services Strategy by both RSL Queensland and Mates4Mates.  


The Veteran Services Strategy outlines the approach required to “lead the defence community ecosystem in reforming and standardising quality services that deliver innovative and impactful outcomes that target the Quality of Life of veterans and their families”. This shared vision and a desire to simplify the veteran support system led RSL Queensland and the Mates4Mates boards to jointly endorse an independent review of current service delivery models and provide recommendations for a high-level future service operating model. 


After completing an extensive process, with comparison to best practice models and case studies, the review, recommended that RSL Queensland establish a single governing body for enterprise-wide decision making to enable a holistic approach to service delivery that effectively and efficiently supports veterans through their whole life journey.


Mates4Mates has positively impacted the lives of current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members, and their families, impacted by service since 2013. Working together RSL Queensland and Mates4Mates have made positive changes in their collective service offerings however much more must be done to truly achieve the vision of the 2025 strategy.


The transition to a single governing body is a critical step forward that will address the asymmetry and transparency challenges that have arisen from having multiple governing bodies and overcome the complexity in making strategic decisions that meet veteran needs today, tomorrow and into the future.


Creating a single governing body that oversees RSL Queensland and Mates4Mates will improve delivery against long-term strategic priorities and better connect services across the spectrum of veteran needs from advocacy and support, to clinical health and wellbeing services.  


In line with the future governance structure, the Mates4Mates Board have advised the RSL Queensland Board of their decision to step down, handing the governance arrangements of Mates4Mates to RSL Queensland.


We thank each member of the Mates4Mates board for their dedication to the veteran community and their strategic leadership, which leaves a pivotal legacy and established a platform for RSL Queensland to deliver its 2025 strategy. 


Effective immediately members of the RSL Queensland Board will be appointed to the Mates4Mates Board, ensuring a strategic alignment for both organisations. To ensure dedicated focus to the needs of the Mates4Mates organisation, current RSL Queensland board members, Tony Ferris, Wendy Taylor and Barry Vains will take the responsibility for the oversight of Mates4Mates.


Importantly, Mates4Mates’ commitment to support all aspects of the health and wellbeing of current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members, and their families, impacted by service is not changing.


The collective goal continues to focus on building contemporary and scalable holistic veteran services; and expanding our reach to enhance the veteran service experience. 


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