THE Returned Services League of Australia celebrates its 100th anniversary in the Cockburn district this month. A major milestone for the organisation, the occasion is being marked by a huge Centenary Cocktail Party today (Saturday, October 19) at its sub-branch headquarters in Frederick Road, Hamilton Hill.
WA veterans affairs minister Peter Tinley, a decorated soldier himself, will be opening the sub-branch’s new veterans advocacy and compensation hub – a sign that locally the RSL remains as relevant as ever for ex-service personnel. Life member Arthur Stanton reflects on who the RSL are and why they’re still important, and over the page you can read about the organisation’s fascinating history.
YOU may ask the question – what does the RSL have to offer ex-service and serving Australian Defence Force personnel?
In 1916 when soldiers returned from World War I, most of them were injured and all of them were affected by the horrors of war.
Most were just out of their teens and needed support, which they only found when they joined together and formed the Returned Sailors & Soldiers Imperial League of Australia.
Here they found the support, mateship and camaraderie which they had during the war – they could now fight as a team to get the support and entitlements they so justly deserved.
Throughout the decades of wars and conflicts that followed, the RSL has encouraged ex-service personnel to join their ranks, where once again they can receive the support and care they need.
When Australians return from wars and conflicts, people can see those that have lost limbs; what they can’t see is the horror hidden behind their eyes, the deep depression and hidden suffering.
Now 100 years on we still see our young service and ex-service men and women, that sadly, find it hard to cope due to the lack of support and understanding.
Their suicide rate is at an all time high.
The Returned & Services League and our members understand and will always be a force to assist all ex-service and serving personnel of the Australian Defence Force, no matter how old or how young – we are here for you.”
“Lest we forget”
RSL of Australia Life Member
RSL City of Cockburn Sub-branch