Latest News2019-03-22T05:40:36+10:00

The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) shares news via this website, our social media pages and at events.


22 March 2019

ACNC revokes direction

For the past 12 months, under direction of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), the board of RSL National has been working to modernise its governance and financial controls.

The board is now pleased to report that the ACNC direction has been revoked by the Commissioner as it is ‘no longer necessary or appropriate’.

The ACNC notes that RSL National has undergone ‘significant changes to its leadership and governance … and has entered in to a voluntary Compliance Agreement with the ACNC. This provides confidence in the Charity’s commitment to implement the governance changes required to address the non-compliance, which in turn, contributes towards restoring public trust and confidence in the sector’.

The board is committed to pursuing important reforms aimed at rebuilding public confidence in RSL National’s operations, including the appointment of three independent directors and the election of a new national president.


5 March 2019

Board changes

The national board of the Returned & Services League of Australia has accepted the resignation of RSL NSW President James Brown as a national director.

The interim chair of RSL National John King said RSL NSW will be invited to nominate an alternative director to maintain the state’s representation on the national board.

“We thank James for his contribution and look forward to welcoming a new director from RSL NSW,” Mr King said.

“In the meantime, RSL National has started a nationwide process to elect a new national president.”

15 January 2019

Police investigation and regulatory compliance

In early 2018, at the direction of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC), the board of RSL National commissioned an independent review of the national office’s governance and compliance processes.

This review identified the need for significant modernisation within RSL National to improve accountability and transparency. The reforms include formalising a strategic direction for RSL National, appointing compliance, finance and audit specialists to the board, and holding a forensic investigation of RSL National accounts and Trusts over the past five years

The RSL National board subsequently commissioned a financial audit for the years 2009-2014.

The board provided the findings of this audit to the ACNC and also to police for further investigation and cannot make further comment on the findings while a police inquiry is ongoing.

In the meantime, the board of RSL National has been working closely with the ACNC to fulfill its directions, including:

  • A strategic plan has been established,
  • Governance frameworks are being refreshed,
  • A board charter and code of conduct are being laid out,
  • An audit committee is being established to scrutinise financial statements, and
  • A board renewal process is underway with three independent directors to be appointed this year.

Staffing changes

The volunteer board has committed to a large amount of work through 2019 to rebuild public trust and confidence in the RSL National operations.

Part of that work has been to reorganise staffing of the national office in order to reduce administrative costs and focus on the best interests and welfare of Australian veterans and their families.

The restructure, supported by the state and territory RSL Branches, has streamlined the national office to a small number of employees who provide secretariat and management support to the National board and various committees, such as the National Veterans Affairs Committee.

This consolidation allows RSL National to strengthen its advocacy role at a Federal level and focus on driving important policy and systemic reform in support of veterans and the wider Defence community.

The role of RSL National

The RSL National board is made up of the national President and representatives of each State Branch. RSL National is a public company and separate legal entity. Its role is to develop strategies and policies with the principal purpose of promoting the interests and welfare of serving and ex-serving men and women of the Australian Defence Force and their dependents (specifically, as per the Objects of the RSL, laid out in the Constitution).

The RSL functions as a federation, with each State and Territory operating separately to provide support services to veterans and their families.

To access news from State and Territory Branches or seek assistance in your location, contact details are available at RSL Branches

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