From the President

As one of the major Sub Branches in Northern Queensland it’s been very busy as usual.  Everyone has been working hard progressing our services and programs in Caring For Our Defence Families.

Congress 2019

The Executive Officer and I attended the RSL Qld State Congress in Brisbane on 21-22 June. The major points were as follows,

  • Draft Constitution was voted down by one vote. The RSL Qld State board will be providing further information on the way ahead in due course.
  • Mr Bill Whitbourne OAM (from Townsville) was voted in as the new Vice President and Vice Chair of the Queensland RSL State board.
  • RSL Qld are intending to provide more resources and teamwork, especially to those Sub Branches that are smaller and have less resources. Such as an online one stop shop portal for all questions Sub Branch, for example: assistance with grants (an artform in itself), commemorations, governance, marketing, links to current State based initiatives, Q&A section, uploading of governance documents, etc. Titled SKIP: Sub Branch Knowledge Information Portal. It should be live later this year
  • More information about presentations and what was discussed can be found on the Queensland RSL website:

Post Congress, a new RSL Qld CEO has been appointed: Melanie Wilson. On behalf of the Cairns Sub Branch we wish Melanie well in her new role.


The Executive Officer and I attended the Legacy Change Over Dinner 28th June. It was great to see all the people involved in Legacy and how they are assisting veterans and their families. Some of the Legatee’s were assisted by Legacy themselves over 50 years ago and are now “paying it forward” for the current generation. I also presented the proceeds from the ANZAC Day Two Up, handing over $2,900. Legacy President Allan Picone and Executive Officer Paula Buckman were very much in appreciation.

Unfortunately, due to being with Legacy I could not attend the launch of the Sub-Branch Armistice Mini Documentary, which was held in the Catalina Room on the same night, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles. I received fantastic reports from the evening, a big thanks to all the Staff in making this a reality.

The documentary can be found online at the following website:

Out and About

Some of you may have been aware of a media statement that was recently released on behalf of the members of ESORT. ESORT stands for the ESO Round Table and is the main feedback/conduit to DVA from the ESO cohort. ESORT has 14 members representing the main ESO’s along with key DVA personnel. The issue that was raised was the topic of whether a Royal Commission was required into the very sensitive topic of veteran suicide.

You may not be surprised that the information systems within the veteran’s cohort may not to be perfect and is why anecdotally some of these issues seem to come from nowhere and without consultation. However, there is much work occurring behind the scenes by the RSL, however, not necessarily known by the wider membership. As Sub Branch President and Sub Branch District delegate, I will be calling for the release of the minutes from the ESORT for 2019 such that these and other issues, which are discussed on behalf of veterans are known in real time and can be informed, consulted and provided an opportunity to respond and be informed of the reasons for and against. More to follow.

Enhanced Consultation

The Executive Officer and Staff will be organising a members feedback forum as part of our ongoing Five Year Strategic Plan to have a continuous feedback loop from the members.  More information will be provided in due course and on behalf of the Directors, I look forward to your feedback on how we are going as a Sub-Branch.

Wellbeing/Advocacy Services

This week we have had RSL Qld deliver a two day Basic Introduction Wellbeing and Compensation course: If you would like to become involved in welfare and or compensation, please notify the front desk and they will point you in the right direction, we need more of both.


If you would like to keep up to date with events and activities of the Sub-Branch you can do so by going to our Cairns Sub Branch Facebook site.  Added to this, the Team at the Sub-Branch will soon be launching a new Sub Branch Members Only information section to our Web Page.  This section will be an opt in, sign up, system where you can ask questions, have a chat outside of the social media context and be kept up to date on events and activities.

Vietnam Veterans Day

The next major commemorative event is Vietnam Veterans Day on the 18th of August.  Board Director Kevin Byrne will be the guest speaker at the event.  Further details will be distributed by our Events and Marketing Co-ordinator, Rebecca.

As always please do not hesitate to contact me directly on





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