Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL)
The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) was founded in 1916 to ensure a unified approach to address the lack of organised repatriation facilities and medical services available to those returning from service in the Great War. This included looking out for the families of those comrades who did not return and arose out of discussions at a meeting in June 1916 of the Returned Soldiers Associations from QLD, NSW, SA and Victoria.
This ethos of compassion and service remains today as the motivating influence of the League. The core mission has never changed and has continued to evolve to meet the needs of each generation of servicemen and women.
We advocate for the best possible conditions for our serving men and women and for those who have served the Nation in the past. We foster respect and thanks from the Nation for all those who have made sacrifices in Australia’s name and we provide a strong voice on issues of national unity and security.
RSL National is the national administrative headquarters of RSL Australia and was established to guide and lead the RSL nationally to support the serving and ex-service, men and women of the ADF and their families.
Since its inception in 1916 as the Returned Soldiers & Sailors Imperial League of Australia [RSSILA], the issues which the founding fathers of the League set out to represent to Government were firstly to fight for benefits, treatment and the welfare of veterans, ex-service and serving members of the Defence Force and secondly, to preserve the health, wellbeing and security of Australia and the Australian way of life.
These issues continue to remain the focus of the League today. Whilst each State and Territory have a Branch Headquarters to serve the grassroots members of the League, RSL National coordinates and promotes the national interests of the organisation, making representations to Parliamentarians, Government, various Government Departments, and to other bodies. The League provides a sounding board for the Government in the development of policy. It contributes to reasoned public debate, public education, and increased public awareness of issues relating to the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio.