Statistics in RSLWA’s latest annual report show that, in 2020, we provided a broad range of programs and services to support current and former ADF members and their families.
across Western Australia
To continue to provide vital assistance to Veterans and their families, RSLWA is thankful for the great support of Western Australians.
Any donations you can provide will directly fund our Veteran services.
RSLWA PROCEEDS WITH ANZAC DAY CONTINGENCY PLANNING
The Returned & Services League of Australia WA Branch (RSLWA) is actively preparing for ANZAC Day events for Monday April 25 while acknowledging that plans could change due to public health advice.
Following advice from the Department of Health, RSLWA is planning to deliver a scaled down Dawn Service at Kings Park but will still plan for a full ANZAC Day Parade through the Perth CBD and a scaled down Commemorative Service in the Perth Concert Hall.
RSLWA CEO John McCourt said final arrangements for ANZAC Day would depend on health advice closer to April 25 and the level of public health and social measures in place at that time.
“Right now all of WA is under Level 2 measures. Should this remain as we near ANZAC Day then the CBD Parade would not be able to proceed as Level 2 restricts events to no more than 500 persons,” Mr McCourt said.
Mr McCourt said the COVID pandemic has meant a lot of uncertainty but RSLWA will do its best to ensure commemoration in some form is observed on ANZAC Day.
“After two years without any ANZAC Day events in Perth, many in the community are eager to see the events proceed. Unfortunately, with the increasing cases of COVID, we have to put the health and safety of our Veterans and the public first.”
With this in mind, the Dawn Service at Kings Park will be by invitation only and held within the area that is traditionally enclosed with seating socially distanced.
The Service will be broadcast live throughout Perth and regional areas in partnership with Radio 94.5 and Radio Triple M. For those unable to tune in, RSLWA is planning to have a pre-recorded Commemorative Service on its website for people to download and use for their own Driveways at Dawn services.
Mr McCourt said the home-based Driveways Dawn Service across the State had strong support in the past two years with families gathering at the end of their driveways, on balconies and at the farm gate to pay their respects.
The traditional Gunfire Breakfast in the Government House gardens and the CBD Parade are both outdoor events and are being planned to proceed, with physical distancing and mask wearing in place. Once again, this may change due to the level of COVID restrictions ahead of ANZAC Day.
As in 2021, RSLWA will be encouraging people to only come to the parade if they have someone marching and we’ll be encouraging others to stay home and enjoy the live telecast.
The Perth Concert Hall Commemorative Service will also be restricted even if WA is not limited to Level 2 restrictions. Limitations in attendance will reflect the need of physical distancing and proof of vaccination.
Expression of Interest for Board of Directors
RSLWA is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from fully financial Service Members who are highly motivated with demonstrable commitment to Veteran’s issues. The candidate will ideally possess previous Board and/or business experience that includes knowledge and skills in governance. The successful applicant will commence their term from May 2022, as decided by the Board of Directors and fill the vacancy until State Congress 2023.
RSLWA are leaders in the care of the veteran community through their pursuance of dynamic Welfare and Advocacy programs to the benefit of its members. These programs form the core responsibilities of our activities.
All Board Members are expected to have:
- an understanding of and commitment to develop a focus on needed outcomes:
- skills and ability to contribute to RSLWAs strategic direction;
- ability to contribute to the organisations growth and viability;
- highly developed communications skills; and,
- sound analytical ability and experience of good practice relating to Governance.
Candidates may provide brief examples of the above in their submission.
- attending and making significant contributions to monthly Board meetings (minimum eight times per year) and other key Board activities;
- participating in Board member education opportunities and governance development;
- providing expertise in the Board’s decision making enabling needed outcomes to be achieved; and,
- ensuring that decisions reflect and enhance the organisation’s Strategic Plan, governance practices, financial position and legal obligations.
Applications should include a brief letter outlining the skills and experience that the candidate brings to the Board. Applications should be typed and no more than 400 words.
Applications should be sent to the Chairman, RSLWA Nominations Committee,
Free Legal Support Available at ANZAC House Veteran Central
Veterans and their families wanting to give evidence to the Royal Commission investigating Australia’s rates of military suicide now have access to free legal support at ANZAC House Veteran Central.
The free, independent legal support by Legal Aid WA is available to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force, as well as their families, carers and supporters, who want to share their experiences with the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
Solicitor Mitchell Caubo from the Defence and Veterans Legal Service (DAVLS) will be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on Level 2 at ANZAC House Veteran Central.
Mitch said he was committed to helping Veterans and their families tell their stories in person through a trauma-informed service, rather than sharing over the phone their experiences of war and combat and the resulting trauma.
“It’s not just written submissions. We can also help with video submissions and we can also support those called to give evidence to the Royal Commission with lawyers and an interpreter if necessary,” Mitch said.
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide is examining systemic issues and risk factors in past deaths by suicide, including suspected suicides, and lived experience of suicide risks of Australian Defence Force members and Veterans.
RSLWA CEO John McCourt said he was pleased to have facilitated Legal Aid WA to operate from ANZAC House Veteran Central.
“This is a critical service for WA Veterans and the families of Veterans to get advice and support to make their submissions,” he said.
“This is what the vision was for the new ANZAC House, to put our Veteran community at the centre of service delivery.
“Veteran Central at ANZAC House provides a suite of services and it’s great to have Legal Aid WA as part of our one-stop-shop.”
Having grown up as a “RAAF brat”, Mitch has first-hand experience of the pressures that the ADF lifestyle can exert on Defence personnel and their family members.
He is passionate about supporting anyone who is considering sharing their experiences with the Royal Commission.
Mitch joined Legal Aid WA as a solicitor with DAVLS in February this year after making a career shift from commercial law.
In his spare time, Mitch volunteers as an instructor with the Australian Air Force Cadets, an organisation he has been involved in since starting as a Cadet in 2009.
Mitch can give advice about your legal rights when engaging with the Royal Commission and support you in sharing your experiences safely through a submission or private session.
Through DAVLS he can also connect clients with other services, such as counselling, advocacy and other legal support for matters that are not related to the Royal Commission.
To arrange an appointment, call 1800 33 1800 or visit the DAVLS website for more information https://defenceveteranslegalservice.org.au
Nominations Open for 2022 Prime Minister's Veterans' Employment Awards
The search is on for Australia’s top veteran employers and employees, with nominations now open for the 2022 Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the awards recognise veterans for their contribution to the nation after their military service, as well as the businesses that support them.
“Our Defence men and women receive world-class training, are disciplined, loyal and resilient – they are adept at problem-solving, working in teams and leading,” the Prime Minister said.
“Smart Australian businesses know that veterans bring valuable knowledge, skills and experience into the workplace and make great employees.
“This is a great opportunity to acknowledge those veterans making an ongoing, outstanding contribution to our nation and the businesses and organisations that are backing them.
“If you know a veteran making a great contribution in the workplace or an employer going above and beyond to support their veteran employees, get online and nominate them.”
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said this year’s awards were being expanded to further recognise partners of current and former Australian Defence Force personnel.
“It’s not easy being the partner of a Defence member or veteran, and they often face their own unique employment challenges,” Minister Gee said.
“It is also significant that this year we will further recognise those businesses and organisations that not only embrace veterans but also show commitment and flexibility to supporting the partners of veterans and serving members.
“Employing veterans is a win-win; it’s great for business and it’s great for those men and women who have served our nation and want to continue to contribute in civilian life.
“I saw these mutual benefits firsthand when I recently visited 2021 Award winner HENSOLDT Australia, a technical solutions provider founded by two veterans that actively hires veteran employees.
“Veterans make up 70 per cent of their workforce, including long-term unemployed veterans who have now re-engaged with the civilian workforce, bringing their years of ADF experience with them.”
The annual awards are part of the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program which brings together a range of resources and initiatives to support veteran and veteran partner job-seekers and employers.
This includes the Veterans’ Employment Commitment, which currently boasts over 700 signatories, demonstrating the high number of organisations committed to supporting greater employment opportunities for veterans.
Nominations for the 2022 Awards open today and close on 31 March 2022, with the winners to be announced in November 2022.
For more information on the Awards and to nominate an employer or employee, visit the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program website (www.veteransemployment.gov.au).
RSL Employment Program helps Veteran Set Sail in Dream Job
For ex-Navy veteran Mark, landing his dream job was an achievement he was not confident he’d ever see after being administratively discharged in 2017.
Mark decided to reach out to RSLWA Employment Officer, Sherry Baxter, where he received help to develop his resume and some career development opportunities which lead to some referrals to various short-term positions.
The last was a short-term contract role at the State Health Incident Control Centre (SHICC), which greatly boosted his confidence before Sherry helped Mark land his dream job in September last year in a search and rescue role at Cobham Aviation.
Sherry was so excited to receive Mark’s message about his successful interview.
“I just wanted to let you know that I have been offered the Search and Rescue role with Cobham Aviation,” Mark wrote.
“It was a long drawn out process due to my police check, but for the first time ever a company asked questions about it, asked for my story and to put it all in context for them to make a more informed decision.
“It seems the RSL, and you in particular, are my little guardian angel. Without you I wouldn’t have got this role with the Health Department and now this one with Cobham.
“Thank you so much for all your help and persisting with me, even though I am sure I ignored a bunch of emails from you back in the beginning.”
Sherry said Mark had struggled with the potential negative implications his discharge may have had on finding suitable employment.
“It is just so wonderful to get news like Mark’s. It is so rewarding to help people like Mark overcome barriers and transition from defence back into the workforce,” she said.
Paying Tribute to Our 'Nashos'
Monday 14th February marks National Servicemen’s Day when we honour the hundreds of thousands of young Australian men who served our nation through compulsory military service after the Second World War.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said it was important to recognise those who stood up when called upon to defend our country.
“Australia’s ‘Nashos’, as they are affectionately nicknamed, made a significant contribution to our nation’s defence forces and rightfully wear the title with pride,” Minister Gee said.
“I encourage all Australians to take time to reflect on the service and sacrifice of these men and ensure they continue to be appropriately remembered.
“The idea of compulsory military service would seem foreign to many Australians, particularly younger generations, but between 1951 and 1959, and again between 1964 and 1972, it was a reality for many young Aussie men.
“Around 227,000 men completed the compulsory six months’ recruit training during 1951-1959, but it was in the second period from 1964 when ‘Nashos’ were deployed in significant numbers.
“More than 804,000 men registered between 1964 and 1972, with more than 63,000 called up to serve.
“Of these, nearly 19,500 served in Borneo and Vietnam and the remainder in support units in Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
“More than 15,000 served in the Vietnam War, where some 200 died and over 1,200 were wounded.
“It is a little-known fact that from 1966 Australian infantry battalions in Vietnam were typically comprised of an equal mix of regular soldiers and National Servicemen.
“At the time, most 20-year-old Australian men were required to register and were then selected for National Service through the infamous ‘birthday ballot’, in which they were randomly selected by their date of birth.
“My uncle Geoff was a Nasho, who served his country at Nui Dat in 1967. My family and I are incredibly proud of his service, as all Australians should be very proud of our ‘Nashos’ who answered the call to serve their nation. They personify our Australian value of service above self.”
Learn more about the National Service Scheme of the Vietnam War era by visiting the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Anzac Portal here https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/vietnam-war-1962-1975/events/conscription/birthday-ballot