Founded four decades ago, the Returned and Service League (RSL) Deception Bay Sub Branch Inc. has been a vital source of support for veterans, operating from the historic Country Women's Association (CWA) Hall at 63 Grosvenor Terrace.
As the organisation commemorates its longstanding commitment to local veterans, plans are underway to conduct a membership drive early in 2024.
President Steve Hilton is leading the strategic campaign aimed at engaging with over 800 veterans residing in the area.
To attract new members, the Sub Branch will use a letterbox drop campaign, print advertising and various other publicity efforts.
The initiative seeks to grow community involvement and provide more local veterans with access to the services offered, including professional welfare, wellbeing support, advocacy, legal advice, and social connection.
The Sub Branch also offers a taxi service for medical appointments, emphasising a commitment to the holistic welfare of its members.
President Steve emphasises that anyone with Australian Defence Force experience, even with just one day of service, is considered a veteran and is entitled to join the RSL Sub Branch.
The organisation invites veterans to connect with a traditional RSL experience, free from poker machines or restaurants.
He acknowledges that the RSL’s current home at Grosvenor Terrace poses certain constraints that limit the Sub Branch’s ability to provide as much support as they would like to. The hall's limited size has led to meetings being moved outdoors to APEX Park due to space constraints. Accessibility issues, particularly for ageing members using mobility equipment, have also been highlighted as a significant concern.
To enhance the RSL experience for existing and new members, President Hilton and the executive are working on finding a solution which may involve a move from their current home.
This would involve members dealing with some sentimental attachments to their home of 40 years.
President Hilton wants to provide local veterans with a modern facility with some extra space.
“Having a bigger facility on level ground would address our space and accessibility challenges and allow more members to attend regularly,” he says.
The organisation remains dedicated to providing comprehensive support, including social connection for members.
This is exemplified by recent initiatives such as a well-received fishing trip organised for its members.
For further information or expressions of support, contact President Steve Hilton at President@dbay.rslqld.net.au or call 0468 369 679.