Established in 1916, The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) has a rich history that can tell us a lot about ourselves as a nation — who we are today, what we value, and where we’ve come from to get there. Early in the 1914-18 Great War, it was evident that those returning from Gallipoli and the Western Front would require support – as would the families of those who would never return. Organisations sprang up around the country to assist veterans and their dependants, with several uniting in 1916 to form the Returned Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA). Now known as the RSL, this crucial organisation has rendered assistance to generations of Australian servicemen and women, and continues to play a strong role in the Australian community.
The RSL evolved as a direct result of the experience of the Diggers of 1914-1918 — their mateship, their post-war needs and welfare, and their sense of what it meant to be an Australian. That ethos of compassion and service remains today the motivating influence of the League. The RSL existed then and still exists now to ensure that programs were in place for the well-being, care, compensation and commemoration of serving and ex-service Defence Force members and their dependants; and promote Government and community awareness of the need for a secure, stable and progressive Australia.
The Anzac legend is a significant element in Australian history, heritage and identity. As we commemorate the Centenary of Anzac from 2014-2018 students and teachers are keen to find resources that bring World War 1 history lessons to life. RSL recognised that the Australian Curriculum for History at Year 9 asks students to explore ‘the debate about the nature and significance of the Anzac legend’. To be of service to Australians looking for this information in relation to the RSL, we have developed a website with free resources. This website contains a rich collection of multimedia activities and resources that can be used in the classroom in existing curriculum areas, especially during the Anzac Centenary years – 2014 – 2018.
Please visit http://www.servingaustralia.info/
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