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.
Free Small Business Support Programme for Veterans
A pilot programme designed to assist veterans and their partners looking to establish their own business was launched by RSLWA in the Co-working Space at ANZAC House this week.
RSLWA CEO acknowledged in WA Parliament
In a recent Statement to Parliament the Hon. Daniel Caddy MLC acknowledged the outstanding contribution made to RSLWA by outgoing CEO, John McCourt JP, during his six years in the role.
The Member for the North Metropolitan Region acknowledged the lasting legacy of Mr McCourt’s tenure in ANZAC House Veteran Central, a one-stop-shop for Veteran Services – the first of its kind in Australia.
A veteran himself, Mr McCourt had personal experience in transitioning from military to civilian life and traversing the complex path to get the medical and financial entitlements available to ex-service personnel.
That experience was the driving force behind developing the streamlined Veteran Central model which places the veteran at the centre of service delivery to receive medical, mental health, dental, counselling, wellbeing, legal and financial support services and more.
Mr McCourt joined RSLWA’s State Executive as a representative for Kimberley/Pilbara in March 2010. He subsequently assumed the role of Chair of WAVAC, our veterans’ affairs committee.
It was in this capacity that he began to formulate a concept for better delivery of related services for veterans and their families.
Mr McCourt announced his resignation at the Annual Congress Meeting on 11 June 2022. He said departing RSLWA was a mix of sadness yet triumph,
“It was not a decision made lightly and I go with a heavy heart, but I believe I am at least leaving at the top of my game.”
Mr McCourt thanked immediate Past State President Peter Aspinall for his leadership and support and wished the new CEO every success. Watch the video.
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