Tuesday, 16 May 2023


Fawkner RSL


Fawkner RSL

Kathleen MATTHEWS-WARD (Broadmeadows) (19:01): (162) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Veterans, and the action I seek is for the minister to join me in a visit to the Fawkner RSL. I am very fortunate to have active RSLs in my electorate, and I thank them for the important role they play in our community and the critical work they do in supporting our returned service men and women.

It being Volunteer Week, I also commend the tireless dedication and hours given by the volunteer committees that run them. Thank you to the executive committee of Faulkner RSL: Michael Brennan, Harry Middlemo, George Zaro-giannis and Stephen Barry. After attending the dawn service at Maygar Barracks on Anzac Day I dropped into Fawkner RSL, who also run a moving service to commemorate our veterans and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Chatting to president Michael and secretary George, I heard of their plans to grow and expand the Fawkner RSL as a place to meet and connect with others.

I recently spoke to Minister Suleyman about the great work RSLs do in my electorate and was absolutely delighted to be able to pass on the good news that the Fawkner RSL’s application for funding of $37,000 to install solar panels on their roof had been successful. This will help lower their energy costs and emissions and is part of the Andrews Labor government’s ongoing work to honour and support Victoria’s veteran community with more than $1.4 million being distributed to 55 projects across the state through three grant programs. The RSL have been steadfast advocates for veterans’ rights and welfare for over a century, and I commend their tireless efforts to support those who have served our country. Both the RSL and Legacy were supportive of my father-in-law and my husband’s family growing up. My father-in-law Max served on four ships during the Second World War, including the HMAS Shropshire, and he narrowly survived the sinking of the HMAS Canberra in the Pacific. He lost a brother at El Alamein and another was taken prisoner of war. He carried the effects of this for the remainder of his life, as so many service people do. The RSLs were such an important place for him to meet, to connect with others and to access support, advice and services, and I thank them for their work. I commend Fawkner RSL for their important work and would welcome the opportunity for the minister to join me at the Fawkner RSL and meet with their leadership team.