CARING FOR OUR DEFENCE FAMILY
The Cairns RSL Sub-Branch organises a number of events throughout the year. From major commemorative services such as; ANZAC Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and Remembrance Day, to family fun days, sporting activities and social gatherings. All our events are open to veterans, their families and members of the public.
Date: Friday 8 March, 2019
Time: 0700 – 0830hrs
Location: Catalina Room, Cairns RSL – 115 Esplanade Cairns
Tickets: $35 per person or $240 for a table of 8
Parking: There is free parking in the Cairns RSL car park off Florence Street
The Cairns RSL Sub Branch in partnership with the Cairns and District’s Ex-Service Women’s Sub Branch will be hosting our annual International Women’s Day breakfast to celebrate the wonderful contributions women have made to the community.
There is no doubt that key note speaker Natalee Johnston will move and inspire guest with tales of her career in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Natalee joined the Royal Australian Navy in January 1994 and within four years had gone on to complete her Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics, gained her pilots wings and become the RAN’s first female pilot.
Guest will be given the opportunity for Q&A session and to meet Natalee. The breakfast will also include a hot/cold buffet style breakfast and an extensive range of raffle prizes to win.
This is sure to be a sold out event not to be missed! Tickets can be purchased online at our shop or by phoning 4051 5254.
Media & Press
VIETNAM VETERANS' DAY
18 August 2018
A commemorative service was held on Saturday 18 August in memory of all those who fought, and in particular the 521 men and women that died during the Vietnam War. Past President and Cairns RSL Sub-Branch member David Clifton was Master of Ceremonies and Chaplain Stephen Hutchison delivered the dedication and blessing. Colonel Peter Sibree AM MG delivered a very moving and insightful official address highlighting the only female to be named on the Vietnam Roll of Honour – nursing sister Captain Margaret Frances Black.
MEDIA RELATED ARTICLES
Young Veterans Coordination Initiative
11 September 2017
The Cairns RSL Sub Branch in partnership with Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Warren Entsch MP, and Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland and Torres Straight proudly launch the official commencement of the Young Veteran Coordination Initiative.
This critical initiative has been developed to assist in the transition of former and current serving members of the Australian Defence Force. With the current level of operational duties being carried out by the Australian Defence Force members, it has become apparent that a substantial number of Young Veterans are potentially not engaging with Ex-Service Organisations for support services.
The changing dynamic of returned servicemen and women has identified that the method of service delivery for support services needs to change with the needs of our honoured veterans. In reviewing the immediate needs and feedback from young veterans seeking support, the Cairns RSL Sub-Branch identified the key service delivery challenges in meeting these needs.
President of the Cairns RSL Sub Branch, Mr Buster Todd expresses his sincere gratitude to the community and the project sponsors. “I am confident that the support and representation being provided by our Ambassadors in Honourable Warren Entsch and His Worship Mayor Bob Manning will enhance the overall success of the project. Having two such high profile Ambassadors, we are confident that the outcomes of this project will go on to shape the future support to our former and current serving members of the Australian Defence Force within the region. These young veterans are our heroes, not only for serving their country but also for the valuable skills, leadership and contribution that they make to the local economy and culture of our community,” said Mr Todd.
“I am proud to be an Ambassador of this project and am confident it will increase collaboration between ex-service and community organisations, and contribute towards the development of a national approach to younger veterans,” said Mr Entsch. “The project will assist in helping our young veterans to stay engaged, which is very important because they have so much to offer and many skills that are of enormous benefit to our community,” Mr Entsch said.
Fellow Ambassador for the initiative, Cairns Mayor Bob Manning, said offering the right support to servicemen and women was vital.
“As a community, we need to understand the needs of veterans so that we can be equipped to provide support and assistance in a way that is relevant, accessible and beneficial,” Cr Manning said. “This initiative will help to identify where changes need to be made so that our veterans can experience a smooth and successful transition into life beyond active service.
This project brings the RSL Sub-Branches from the tip of the Cape to the Heart of the Gulf together to address the challenges faced by our Young Veterans in gaining the support they so justly deserve. “Through this project, the RSL Sub-Branches will be positioned to be the single constant that our Young Veterans turn to for assistance in navigating the support network” said Mr Todd.
With approximately 2000 Young Veterans in the region, the feedback we are receiving is that they do not know what support services are available or how to access them, it can be confusing and extremely difficult to navigate the bureaucracy that is within the Ex-Service Organisation support network. These Men and Women are highly skilled, dedicated and some of the hardest working people in Australia. This project will help give those that are struggling develop better linkages to support services.
The project team are reviewing past reports and collecting new data through our online survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YVCI). There is an extensive amount of research already done, unfortunately a lot of it is collecting dust on a shelf. This project is not about preparing yet another report, it is about delivering a solution that will make a difference.
“The project is one way we can honour the service and sacrifice made by the men and women of Cairns who have defended our nation,” said Mr Entsch.
This project has been well received by RSL QLD and other Ex-Service Organisations with it aligning closely to similar initiatives being undertaken from Brisbane. The Cairns RSL Sub Branch is now seeking your support and feedback in completing the online survey. If you are a current or former serving member of the Australian Defence Force or you are family and friends of our Young Veterans (Young Veterans are defined as anyone who has served since 1 January 1999) we need your feedback.
Changing of RSL’s Guard
27 April 2018
The Cairns RSL Sub Branch is leading the way in ensuring that all generations of veterans and their families are being heard and cared for. Since the Vietnam War, the needs of veterans have changed. Our country has now been at War for over the past seventeen years and most of these veterans have seen up to 4, 5 or 6 tours.
There are over 2300 younger veterans living throughout Cairns and the Tablelands region. In a study that is currently being carried out by the Cairns RSL Sub Branch it has been reported that these men and women are not engaging with the RSL as they don’t feel it is relevant. A significant number of them feel they aren’t being heard or they don’t identify themselves as being a veteran.
The first step in becoming relevant is to have people that these veterans can identify with. The Cairns RSL Sub Branch board now comprises of 7 out of 8 directors that are younger veterans. Younger Veteran and currently serving Director Mark Rix has been appointed as the Director for Younger Veterans.
With a wife, two young children and a number of deployments, Mark knows personally the challenges faced by younger veterans and currently serving personnel. As the Director of Younger Veterans, he hopes to contribute to the Sub-Branch by being the voice for the newer generations of veterans. Forging a positive legacy with the team to ensure that veterans needs are meet, and that the Sub Branch continually re-evaluates our priorities and services. He is focused on getting our message out there and making sure the RSL and Sub-Branch remain relevant today and for future generations to come.