Welfare and Hospital Visitation
Sub-Branch Administration (The Sub-Branch Hall and Office is open most Thursdays between 0930 and 1300)
Sub-Branch membership Dues remain at $35 and are due on the 1st January each year and are payable NLT 30th March to remain Financial
Member Social Functions
27 August 2021
Support for ADF firefighters due to start in September
As a part of the 2021–22 Budget, the Federal Government allocated $6 million in support of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who participated in fire training at Royal Australian Air Force Base Point Cook Fire Training School between 1 January 1957 and 31 December 1986.
These personnel were potentially exposed to a range of toxic chemicals at a time when personal protective equipment standards were lower than today.
The Scheme will provide eligible personnel with:
The ADF Firefighter Scheme is scheduled to begin on 20 September 2021.
Serving and former ADF firefighters who participated in fire training at Royal Australian Air Force Base Point Cook Fire Training School between 1 January 1957 and 31 December 1986 can register their interest in the Scheme by emailing ADF.Firefighter.Scheme@dva.gov.au
For more information, please visit the ADF Firefighters Scheme page of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.
If you or a member of your family require assistance with navigating any claim with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, please contact our partner charity RSL DefenceCare on (
Census 2021 more important than ever for veterans
As you may already be aware, the latest Australian Census is taking place on 10 August and it is a particularly important one for veterans.
This is because for the first time, the Census will include a question about service in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), which is the result of a great deal of lobbying by the RSL.
The reason this is important is because currently there is no comprehensive data on the total number of veterans living in Australia. Estimates indicate this may be as many as 630,000 people.
The 2021 Census will give government and the wider community more accurate information on how many veterans live in Australia and their geographic spread. At the very least, this will enable better targeted training and information about caring for veterans to health care professionals as well as lead to improved service delivery to veterans and their families.
For example, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is one of the largest purchasers of healthcare services in Australia. Census data will assist DVA to plan and cost future services to ensure veterans and their families are provided with the right services, when and where they are needed.
It will also help inform our own decisions as we plan for the future and execute our Strategic Plan which is all about meeting the changing needs of veterans going forward.
I encourage everyone to complete the Census. This page on the Census website provides guidance on how to complete it. The good news is you don’t need to wait until 10 August if you would like to complete it now.
Please be assured that under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, no identifiable information can be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics about any individual, which means the data collected is “anonymised” (i.e. cannot be traced back to you personally).
RSL NSW President
Commemoration for Australians involved in the Middle East Area of Operations
In response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, Australian military personnel and civilian staff from various agencies took part in campaigns across the Middle East Area of Operations between 2001 and 2021.
On 11 July 2021, the Minister for Defence confirmed all Australian Defence Force personnel had departed Afghanistan, bringing our nation’s longest war to a close.
Australia’s participation came at a terrible cost. Forty-one lives were lost in Afghanistan and two lives were lost in Iraq and Kuwait, while many returned with long-lasting physical and mental trauma. Their service and sacrifice have helped to save Australian lives from terrorist attacks on our own soil.
A national day of commemoration has been proposed to acknowledge the service of Australians in the Middle East Area of Operations, those who supported at home, and to honour those who lost their lives.
I strongly encourage you to provide your input to inform the decision about the most appropriate day to hold this commemoration and what form it should take. Please click here to complete the Department of Defence survey which closes at midnight on Sunday 1 August 2021.
RSL NSW supports the date of 11 July as the official day of commemoration. Commemorating the end of a conflict is consistent with the traditional way our community recognises the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families during that conflict.
If you would like to provide input to the collective response of RSL NSW, please send your feedback to me via email@example.com.
RSL NSW President
NATIONAL SERVICE REUNION
RSL/Bunnings BBQ Fundraisers
Bunnings have re-commenced Community BBQs' and our next fundraising BBQ's at Bunnings Cessnock will be on 2021 8am to 4pm. Volunteers to assist most welcome.
SUB-BRANCH MEETINGS ARE NOW BACK TO ALMOST NORMAL COMMENCING AT 1000 HRS ON THE 1st TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH EXCEPT JANUARY. SUB-BRANCH EXECUTIVE MEMBERS ARE NOW BACK AT THE HALL EVERY THURSDAY BETWEEN 0930 AND 1300 SHOULD MEMBERS AND LOCAL VETERANS WISH TO DROP IN FOR A CHAT AND A COFFEE.
COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS
A COVID-19 Safety plan is now in place at the RSL Hall. Seating has been arranged to meet the current social distancing requirements and sanitising equipment is in place at the entrance and throughout the hall. To meet the record keeping requirements, the sign-in sheet has been modified to comply with the Covid 19 compliance instructions. The co-operation of members in complying with these measures is appreciated.
Next Sub-Branch meeting 10am Tuesday 5th October 2021. Please note our Winter Starting time of 10am.
Our members Dinners for this year are scheduled as follows:
Wednesday 8th December 2021 6.30pm of 7pm at the Cessnock Leagues Club
Quarterly Sub-Branch Newsletter
The latest newsletter is now available for download.
TO ACCESS THE LATEST RSL NSW BOARD COMMUNIQUE CLICK ON THE ACTION BUTTON,
ANZAC House Circular
17 December 2020
1300 679 775
Directors, District Councils, Honorary Secretaries
Dear Honorary Secretary,
A letter addressed to all RSL NSW members has been received from the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC), in response to RSL NSW annual reporting against its Enforceable Undertaking obligations. Please click on this link to read the letter. The RSL NSW Board of Directors request that sub-Branch Presidents brief all members on the letter and confirm to their respective District Councilby 15 March 2021 that this has been completed. The letter draws attention to sub-Branch obligations as a charity and suggests some reading and other materials to support compliance. The RSL NSW Board is very aware of the onerous compliance requirements of the ACNC and NSW Fundraising Acts and therefore, under the ‘umbrella’ of the Strategic Plan, intends to ensure all sub-Branch executives receive appropriate support and assistance in discharging their responsibilities.
The Board has received considerable feedback about the decision to cease the practice of sub-Branches subsidising members’ annual fees. An interim policy has been approved to direct sub-Branches in meeting their obligations if they need to support members in financial distress.
Sub-Branches may subsidise RSL NSW membership fees if it is for a service member (veteran) who is in “genuine need of financial assistance”. As sub-Branches are registered charities, they need to record the subsidy as a charitable donation to a veteran in need to meet their compliance obligations.
Definition of “genuine need”
At the discretion of the sub-Branch executive, a veteran is deemed in ‘genuine need’ of financial assistance if he/she is not in a financial position to pay their annual membership fees. This could, but is not limited to the following circumstances:
Background and Implementation
This issue has arisen for two reasons:
In October 2020, the Board agreed to an interim policy with an accompanying procedure that will enable sub-Branches to subsidise fees if the person is in ‘genuine need’ and this is recorded by the sub-Branch to meet their regulatory compliance obligations under Section 55-5 of the ACNC Act, 2012. Procedurally, a simple record of the decision and reason why a member has received the donation is required.
Also, in October 2020 the Board approved the RSL NSW Strategic Plan (2021-2026). This plan considered member feedback and therefore there will be NO membership fees from Calendar year 2022, hence the policy above is only interim. This recognises that RSL members are volunteers who are providing support to fellow veterans, not just to members of the RSL in accordance with the charitable purpose.
Membership fees do not necessarily mean ‘capitation’ fees, and these are yet to be set. If the proposed funding model to support the strategic plan and strategic initiatives is adopted, there will be no need for capitation fees for RSL National for instance, or ANZAC House.
If sub-Branches identify veterans in serious financial hardship, the veteran should be referred to RSL DefenceCare. RSL DefenceCare (recipient of RSL NSW sub-Branch donations and our principal service delivery organisation) is set up to deal with privacy and associated compliance matters related to providing financial assistance.
Recording donation for membership subsidy - Example
2 February 2021 Joe Bloggs $30.00 Pensioner
GM Member Services and State Secretary
Stay up to date with all the latest events by checking the
RSL Australia submission to Consultation on Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide
I am pleased to advise that following the request for feedback from sub-Branches through District Councils, RSL NSW has contributed to the RSL Australia submission on the Themes for Consultation to inform the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide which was lodged on 21 May. You can read the submission here.
RSL State Branches across the country (except Queensland) provided member feedback which contributed to the RSL Australia submission.
The feedback received was consistent across the Branches, and predominantly in these areas:
The submission also communicated RSL members’ views on the scope of the Royal Commission, the need for clarity between the function of the Royal Commissioner/s and the role of the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention and the importance of reviewing the previous work in this area.
We will continue to listen to and advocate for all veterans throughout the Royal Commission. The RSL NSW Strategic Plan, which was formulated following consultation with members, has set us up well to be the leading agents of change to improve the lives of veterans.
RSL NSW President
Your membership is important to the Club as it is only through our members that the important work of supporting our veterans and their families can continue.
Your membership fee of $35 can be paid at the club on the first Tuesday of the month between 6.30pm and 8.30pm or Thursdays from 14th January between 9am and 1pm, by mail to PO Box 217 Cessnock, or Direct Debit into the sub-Branch Account:
Account Name: Returned Service League of Australia, Cessnock Sub-Branch,
BSB: 012 570
Account No: 4507 10915
Ref: Your name or Badge No.
Our Executive Members are committed to assisting returned and service men and women in our local community. Come and join us.
PATRON: Chief Inspector Michael Gorman NSW Police
PRESIDENT : Max Lewis
VICE-PRESIDENT: Lindsay Davis
VICE-PRESIDENT: Chris Lewis
TREASURER: Lindsay Davis
SECRETARY: David Owens
Cessnock RSL Sub-Branch was first Chartered on the 8th August 1928. At that time its membership consisted of veterans returning from active service in the Boer and First World Wars. The Club received an updated charter on the 30th June 1987 by which time its membership had been expanded to include all those men and women who had served in the Defence Forces of Australia and her Allies.
LEST WE FORGET
Respecting supporting and remembering our veterans and their families
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