I know it has nothing to do with music but I was asked to attend the RSL NSW State Congress – and it was an eye opener to say the least and the brass was in attendance yep very top heavy from State Governors to Federal Ministers! What an introduction…
As a former soldier (many years ago) and a member of an RSL Sub Branch where I hold the position of Assistant Secretary/Treasurer and also Comms Manager, I like many others volunteer our time (a lot of it) and help other current and former defence personnel including there families where possible.
When I am not travelling in (Aunty) Winne I spend a fair bit of time working in the Sub Branch and once a month I attend District Council Meetings which is made up of delegates from all the Sub Branches in a District and their are quite a lot of districts. So mix music, RSL etc and it is quite a busy life.
Now my father (RIP) was a member of a Sub Branch as he like me proudly served in the Military – dad was in the British Army and I was in the Australian Army. My grandparents as well as my uncles also served in the Military so as you see there is a sort of tradition I guess of volunteering for the Military.
Now State Congress is held once a year and each state has their own respective State Congress which is held over the course of nearly a week. New South Wales held their State Congress in place called Coffs Harbour starting at 4pm on the Sunday with an informal event – means no suit and tie and meet and greet (drinks and food) and delegate registration. Once this was finished we then drove to where we were staying, a 3 story house with several living areas, an inground pool, pool table, built in Cappuccino/coffee machine etc etc – this was going to be a tough week!
Monday was made up of different admin seminars plus various stalls relating to Defence Care, RSL Life Care, RSL Money, DVA etc, counter lunch and nice dinners…
Tuesday was however a different kettle of fish, this was a formal affair where things got down to business. We had the official opening of the Congress by His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) Governor of New South Wales. We had RSL NSW State President Mr White chairing the event and basically a who’s who of the RSL and State/Country; we had the National RSL President Mr Doolan, the Deputy National President and State President of Queensland Mr Meehan and the State President of Victoria Mr Mclachlan. We also had talks by the National Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and his shadow minister. Talks by the NSW Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and his shadow minister. We also had the National Veterans’ Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister in attendance – as I said very top heavy but interesting to listen to. Wednesday was voting on motions put forward by various members, Sub Branch’s and District Councils which were then voted on and arguments for and against.