RSL Queensland State Congress 2023
RSL Queensland State President, Major General Stephen Day DS AM; State Deputy President, Ms Wendy Taylor and CEO, Mr Robert Skoda; Australian Defence Force representatives; Veterans; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I am pleased to join you this morning to officially open the 2023 RSL Queensland State Congress.
It is a delight, as Governor of Queensland and your Patron, to welcome delegates from every part of the State here, including District Presidents and representatives of the almost 200 sub-branches.
I know you each of you is ready to face the action-focussed Agenda.
And I know that you are cognisant of the responsibilities that lie ahead as this Congress strives to meet the challenges of giving your help and support to those who have given so much to us all.
I know you will rise to this challenge, in no small way because the RSL garners great support in our community, and not just among servicemen and women, past and present.
It is part of our vernacular as Queenslanders and Australians, whether we’re observing ANZAC Day, taking part in a service or commemoration, or just catching up with our mates at the end of the week at our local RSL.
It allows us to break down generational differences by focusing on what brings us together – love of our country, respect for those who defend it, and a commitment to never forget the sacrifice of others.
I am grateful to be able to remember ANZAC day parades as far back as the 1970s, when there were still Boer War veterans and Great War veterans to revere, World War II and Korean War veterans to admire and Malayan Emergency and Vietnam returned men and women to wholeheartedly thank.
And, of course this year is particularly poignant for our Vietnam Vets, as we acknowledge the 50-year anniversary of the Australian forces leaving Vietnam.
Many years have passed, and many more veterans have retired and are advancing in years.
We can conceive of how veterans of conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, too, shall grow old.
And they, too, will look to the RSL for help.
And the RSL will respond, with advocacy and a helping hand to promote the welfare and wellbeing of those who need it.
Many of you are veterans yourselves, and most of you are volunteers, and so we have no right to ask more of you than you have already given.
Yet we know the RSL will be there when it’s needed, to answer the call.
So on behalf of a grateful State, thank you, for all you do to enable our veterans and their families to live with dignity and respect.
It is now my privilege and pleasure to declare this 2023 RSL Queensland State Congress officially open.