Community support helps Mount Isa RSL Sub Branch open a new home

25 March 2024
  • Media release

Mount Isa veterans and their families have a new space to connect, thanks to the support of their community.

The newly established headquarters, based at the Irish Club, includes an inviting space for veterans and their families to gather and socialise. Complete with a contemporary courtyard and a storage area, the space not only fosters connection but also serves as a home for the memorabilia curated by the Sub Branch. 

Local veterans and members were joined by RSL Queensland Vice President Bill Whitburn OAM, RSL North Queensland District President Garry Player, Mayor Danielle Slade, Irish Club President John Hetherton and Irish Club Manager Bernard Gillic to mark the occasion.  

Moint Isa RSL Sub Branch Kate Fischer and Bill Hilton

Mount Isa RSL Sub Branch Treasurer Kate Fischer and Vietnam veteran Bill Hilton, who the new office space has been named after

Mount Isa RSL Sub Branch Treasurer Kate Fischer was thrilled to unveil the new space and share it with the town, thanking the Irish Club, volunteers, Sub Branch members, businesses and the community for their support along the way. 

“Since the closure and sale of the club in 2013, we are so grateful for the support of the Buffs Club, Leichhardt Services Bowls Club and now the Irish Club for providing us with a space so we can continue our Sub Branch activities in the community,” Kate says. 

“We believe this new space and its amenities – which have been generously gifted to us by the Irish Club – will allow our Sub Branch to build a greater presence in the community, offering more welfare services and social activities to support local veterans. It will also give us a space to hold our meetings and planning sessions for our commemorative days.” 

Mount Isa RSL Sub Branch courtyard

The space features a courtyard where veterans and their families can socialise 

The new Sub Branch space and accompanying courtyard has been completely renovated with the financial assistance of the Irish Club and many local builders, tradespeople and businesses. The Sub Branch also received a courtesy bus thanks to the Irish Club which proudly displays Mount Isa RSL Sub Branch signage. 

“We were also successful in obtaining a sizeable grant so we could purchase furniture for our space. The whole project has almost been externally funded aside from a few small items,” Kate says. 

The Sub Branch has named the space the “Bill Hilton Room”, in recognition of Vietnam veteran and Sub Branch member Bill Hilton. Bill served in several roles at the Sub Branch including President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Welfare Officer. 

Mount Isa RSL Sub Branch office opening Bill Whitburn Darrell Edwards Garry Player

Bill Whitburn OAM, RSL Queensland Vice President, Darrell Edwards, L3 Compensation Officer (Advocate), and Garry Player, RSL North Queensland President at the opening of the new office

“We are a great group, but right now I think there are local veterans that don’t really know about us and how we can support them. I hope the new space will get our name out into the community and encourage more veterans to become members,” Kate says. 

“In addition to support services, we are looking forward to hosting mornings teas, functions, Friday night socials, and just providing a space for veterans to connect.” 

Given the remoteness of Mount Isa, Irish Club Manager Bernard Gillic says it’s important for the community to look out for each other and come together in times of need. 

“I believe it’s very important for a community to have an RSL Sub Branch and we are delighted to offer them a place in our club, and we hope to see them flourish here,” Bernard says. 

The Sub Branch’s new space opens just ahead of ANZAC Day, and members are looking forward to working with the Mount Isa Council to host the town’s Dawn Service and gunfire breakfast, in addition to the 10am service at the local cenotaph, which includes a march led by local veterans. 


Want to stay informed? Subscribe today and get the latest news, services, events and more direct to your email inbox.