Fresh Faces at Hawthorn RSL


After many years of inactivity, in August 2019 an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was held for the Hawthorn Returned and Services League (RSL), resulting in a newly appointed committee working for veterans’ well-being.

The revitalised Hawthorn RSL, operating from 605 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, already has 200 members, making it the largest RSL sub-branch in Victoria. President Lucas Moon and 70 other members came from the Combined Tramway/East Melbourne RSL and they hope to create a new wave of RSLs without pokies and nepotism, and instead a place where "everyone is equal." Lucas and the new committee aim to create a "place veterans can fall back on", a safe space with a holistic approach to welfare. Half of the funds raised by the Hawthorn RSL go to ANZAC House (RSL Victoria), while the other half is for local veterans in need. Assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis. For example, the Hawthorn RSL recently purchased a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder service dog for a veteran. The Hawthorn members also participate in weekly visits to Heidelberg's 'Ward 17', the Psychological Trauma Recovery Service. Our local RSL is now a hive of activity with weekly yoga and monthly socials and branch meetings.

City of Boroondara has consistently had money set aside for refurbishments of the Hawthorn RSL's facilities on Glenferrie Road. What started out as over $1.14 million in the 2015-16 budget has been reduced to $400,000 in the 2019-20 budget, with no works completed to date. Disability access to the building is a priority for the new committee and has been part of the intended purpose of funds set aside by council. Lucas encourages the community to buy a poppy for Remembrance Day on Monday 11 November. You can purchase a poppy outside Glenferrie Station in the mornings prior to Remembrance Day, or drop into the RSL whenever they are open. All money raised from sales goes towards supporting our veterans in their life after combat.

For membership enquiries visit the Hawthorn RSL at 605 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn or email info@hawthornrsl.com.

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