CEO Message

I have deliberately delayed this End of Year message until I received confirmation of one of the most important things to have happened to RSL SA/NT in the last 18 months – the completion of our Deed of Company Arrangement. We have been living under the shadow of the DoCA since mid-last year but I’m now very pleased to let you know that a final dividend was declared by the deed administrator yesterday and, pending completion of the necessary paperwork, we are now free to operate as a fully independent organisation again. All confirmed creditors will receive a final dividend bringing their total payment to 100c in the dollar. RSL SA/NT is due to receive the surplus balance of around $300,000 in the immediate future. Cheques are, according to the administrator, in the mail……….

Whilst I am happy that all creditors have been paid in full and that the RSL will receive a much-needed cash injection, I am less than happy that the DoCA process happened at all. The very fact that creditors received the full amount of their allowed claims and the RSL is set to receive a substantial payment by way of a surplus, is evidence to me that the administration was never necessary – there was always sufficient assets available to meet the debts. We did not need to pay an administrator something over $600,000 to prove that and it shows up what an appalling decision was taken by those in control of the RSL in SA/NT at the time.

Having got that off my chest I would like to pay tribute to the board and the staff at RSL SA/NT who have shown incredible loyalty and a true never say die attitude over the term of the DoCA. Without their focus, hard work and co-operation the predictions by some of our naysayers of organizational collapse may well have come to fruition. I am proud to have been able to work beside the board and staff during this difficult period in the organisation’s history.

But the good news doesn’t end there. I can also report that our Voluntary Compliance agreement with the ACNC is all but completed as well. We are still awaiting finalization of the 2016 and 2017 audits but all the required policies, procedures, registers and the like have been submitted to, and accepted by, our regulator. This is, in itself, a significant achievement but it also means that we will now be able to provide Sub-Branches with a compliance package to ensure they are also operating in accordance with ACNC regulations and guidelines. We had hoped to be able to get that out to you prior to year’s end but the approval processes took a little longer than we originally anticipated. The full package will be available for implementation in Sub-Branches by the end of next month.

We are now free to pursue the objects of the RSL without the constraints we have endured for the last 18 months or so. In the new year you will see some things emerge that are designed to make RSL SA/NT both more efficient (doing things well) and effective (doing the right things). An updated email system has already been implemented and enhancements to our IT infrastructure are in process. We need to provide appropriate tools for our staff and volunteers before we can expect them to deliver higher quality services to members.

I’d like to close this note by issuing a challenge to all our members and their Sub-Branch committees for 2019 and beyond. I’d like to challenge you all to embrace and put into action these words from Eleanor Roosevelt;
“When dealing with yourself use your head; when dealing with others use your heart”

Compliments of the season to you all and to your loved ones.
Kim Henshaw