NSW RSL to vote on new constitution
NSW RSL will vote on a new constitution to overhaul its governance after the misuse of funds by its former president.
The organisation has been going through significant reform since a public inquiry in 2017 revealed former president Don Rowe used his RSL credit card between 2009 and 2014 to pay for his mortgage, family phone bills, flights and meals.
A two-year investigation by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission also found the it was plagued by widespread misconduct and governance failures.
On Tuesday, the organisation will hold an extraordinary general meeting to vote on a new constitution, which aims to foster transparency and efficiency, make legal compliance easier, and introduce measures and controls to allow the RSL to recommence fundraising.
Last week, RSL NSW said in a statement 160 of the league’s 352 sub-branches are at risk of closing because of their inability to resume fundraising.
“The proposed constitutional changes are designed to ensure RSL NSW can remain sustainable for decades to come,” the statement said.
The constitution was developed in consultation with thousands of members and was assisted by a self-nominated panel of 30 rank and file members.
A second vote will take place on remuneration for board members.
Should the vote pass, RSL NSW will have about a year to transition to the new structure, which comes into force in 2020.
On Monday, current president James Brown denied the changes were an attempt to wrest control of the financial assets of sub-branches.
The vote on Tuesday would allow for greater governance and support for struggling branches or a path for branches who wish to operate more independently, Mr Brown told 2GB.
“The RSL NSW state council promised the public we would earn their trust back, promised our members that we would save the league for now and the future, and committed to get the league working harder for veterans and their families. We are delivering on that,” Mr Brown wrote on Twitter on Monday.