Message From Stephen Day – State President RSL Queensland
This is my first correspondence to you, my fellow Members, in my capacity as State President. I make a commitment to roll my sleeves up, to communicate and consult, and give my best in the interests of the League.
I want to acknowledge Tony Ferris. Tony gave an unquestioned commitment to his responsibilities. He, and his family, made significant sacrifices over the last three and half years in our service. Few of us will ever understand the challenges, stress and pressures he endured. He will, hopefully, over the next few months get a chance to relax and refresh and continue to contribute to the League.
Last Thursday, 9 December, was an emotional day for many at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The vote on amending the Constitution invoked strong passions. There were many who earnestly believed in and supported changes to the Constitution. Some Delegates, notably from regional communities, with small memberships and whose Sub Branch is a very important part of their community, saw the Member Value Proposition (MVP) as essential to their survival. And there were those who were equally earnest in their view that the proposed changes were unacceptable. Some considered the MVP a risk to the notion that RSL membership is based on having served our country in one of the Services.
Both views are valid. The Veteran must remain the most important of our Members and yet we need to do what we can to help Sub Branches who are struggling but have a passionate commitment to keeping our legacy alive in their communities.
The issue of changing governance arrangements for our Board seemed less controversial, perhaps because for most of us it is hard to get too excited about governance. Of course, governance is a critical function for us, not least because it ensures accountability and transparency. It is clear to me that we need to modernise some of our arrangements.
I will work with my colleagues over the coming months to see what lessons we can take from this year’s efforts and use them to arrive at a new approach aimed at achieving a satisfactory conclusion for the League.
Regardless of our perspectives on the Constitution it is important, I believe, to acknowledge that though views may be different they all come from a good place; a shared belief in the nobility of our purpose, our objectives and a desire to see our RSL thrive.
Please accept my warmest wishes to you and your families for Christmas and keep an eye out for each other.
Stephen Day DSC, AM
RSL Queensland State President