The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) manages the Australian Forces Overseas Fund (AFOF). The purpose of RSL AFOF is to provide care to those serving overseas and remind them that the thoughts of all Australians are with them, through what can be a difficult time. RSL AFOF was formally established on 26 January 1966 at the Sydney Town Hall, amalgamating the earlier fund established by RSL NSW and the Lord Mayor’s Comfort Fund. The three major programs delivered by RSL AFOF are Care Packages, Support Packs and Operation Care.
RSL AFOF organises the delivery of care packages in the middle of the year and around Christmas, to Australian Defence (ADF) and Australian Federal Police personnel, posted overseas. The work of RSL AFOF is assisted by the many donations received from Australians and corporate partners. Twice a year, volunteers from RSL State and Sub-Branches and civilians from ADF and Department of Veterans Affairs, join with service members of the Deployed Forces Support Unit (39th Battalion) at Randwick Barracks in NSW to pack parcels for shipment overseas.
Since 2010, RSL AFOF has worked through the Chief of Army to provide a Simpson Pack to soldiers injured on operations. The Simpson Pack contains items such as a track suit, t-shirt, shorts, cap, toiletries and a telephone card. RSL saw the need to provide a more extensive pack for those ADF members who are seriously wounded on overseas service and require longer periods of hospitalisation. The identification of this need led to the creation of the RSL Support Pack. This is an airline style cabin bag with a broader range of toiletries, clothing and other useful items to support a longer hospital stay. First at the NATO medical facilities in Germany and sometimes for another hospital stay when the member arrives back in Australia.
Operation Care is run in a partnership between two separate entities, RSL and the RSL & Service Clubs Association. The program provides up to one week’s rest and recuperation at sites throughout Australia for selected ADF personnel and their family. Those selected are service members that have been repatriated to Australia as a consequence of wounds received in combat operations. The aim of Operation Care is to assist these personnel and their immediate family, to recover from the physical scars incurred from combat, by providing the family some quality time together in a relaxing environment.
We appreciate all contributions to RSL AFOF including donations of time and/or money or items that can be put into the Care Packages. You can make a donation below that will go into the RSL AFOF account and will be used to deliver one of our programs. Thank you for helping RSL to support service members and their families that are deployed overseas.