General Veteran ex Service ADF Board

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There are three members to each Board. The President is legally qualified, which makes sense as the law has to be interpreted and applied. There is an "ordinairy" member and, of course a Services member. This is a better composition that most civil Tribunals. The selection criteria is quite tough. It is available on the web site. I have read many VRB Decisions and Reasons. They sometimes get it wrong in law; however, I have never seen a VRB Decision and Reasons where emotional or subjective views are put. Any half decent Presiding Member would ensure that it would not happen. In any case, VRB decisions are reviewable by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ("AAT"). In most cases, legal aid is available to retain a lawyer. In operational service cases, there is no means or assets test. I think the real question is: do we need a VRB? Is it just another expensive Tribunal? Prehaps it should be done away with with Veterans appealing straight to the AAT from an internal review of the primary decision? The money spent on maintaing the VRB could then be applied to other resources, such as training pension officers.

If this is the best input we can expect from this VRB forum then perhaps you should reconsider having it at all. This comment cannot be taken seriously by any reasonable thinking veteran and if it is indicative of an "infantry grunts" ability to articulate a case then it is no wonder so many of them fail at the Review Board.


My main complaint about the VRB which comes from personal experience, is using non qualified members to sit on Veteran Cases.
While one of the members is a veteran, what is the point of having a WW2 RAAF wanker judging an Infantry; Grunt who served in the new type of war that was Vietnam?

Thats like having a grunt judging a RAAF pilot who flew over Europe on bombing missions.
How can you put a persons service in to prospective, and reliant to their disabilities without some form of knowledge and experince?

My feeling was that some members where picked for their negative attitudes towards Viet Nam Veterans.


I'm afraid it's not only the Navy who put in dodgy claims. A lot of our fellow diggers do the same.

It appears when some reach the magic age of 55 their superannuation matures and they suddenly develop PTSD from Vietnam, some 30 years earlier and trot down to their local VVAA or VVFA and trot out with a TPI pension.

How can an ex Nasho do 30 years in the Fire Brigade, facing death and despair every day, suddenly go loopy at age 55 from his time in Vietnam?

Same for an ex engineer who did 33 years in the Vic police force, who suddenly discovered he had PTSD after going on an organised veterans camp out.

I have associated with one particular Vietnam Veterans group for the past 15 years. Most are on TPI pensions for either PTSD or a bad back. The PTSD acquired from various stressors whilst serving in Vietnam and the bad backs for doing such daring things as diving into a hole in the ground while carrying the radio, yet.............

One stressor from a signals wallah. 'I was in a helicopter which took small arms fire and I didn't have a weapon to fire back with'

Another signaller spent his time at Nui Dat delivering the daily signals to various posts. He claimed nightmares where the Viet Cong were coming to slit his throat (in 15 years I never heard him have one nightmare).

In fact, I never heard anyone screaming or yelling out in the night - and I spent a lot of time sleeping near these blokes.

And the bad backs.......................blokes who had been truckies for years after their Nasho time, lumping heavy cargo and driving rigid trucks, suddenly get a bad back from their time carrying the spare barrel for the M60.

I do not suffer from PTSD. My injuries are all physical. However, I spent an afternoon with three warriors who detailed incident after incident where their PTSD 'kicked in' and they went loopy. I had similar stories and they swore blind that I had PTSD.

No - I was just a grumpy old man - as most of them were.



We have been aware of the following matters for years.


The RSL administration procedures and policy platform leave much to be desired. The simple truth is the RSL is becoming more and more irrelevant and is stubbornly resisting all calls to change its Constitutions, its public image, how it promulgates updated information and its administration. We live in a 21st century computer and technology driven age and yet the RSL refuses at many turns to embrace the times. There is little wonder that several generations of ex Service and Serving members after the Vietnam War, who cut their teeth on new thinking and new technology, who communicate via computers, IPODS, IPHONES, Text messaging and social networking websites, show little interest in the RSL and remain largely unwilling to take out membership or retain membership. Younger Veterans, Serving members and indeed many WW2 and Vietnam Veterans have no interest at all in being a member of what is essentially an old boys club. More than this all decent people want honesty and full accountability from RSL leaders.

We will not confine our balanced criticisms to the RSL. The RSL is not the only ESO which fails its members,is not the only ESO which allows fraud and corruption to go unreported and is not the only ESO which spends time navel gazing instead of looking after members and the wider interests of all in the ex Service and serving communities. As time unfolds we will look at other ESOs and Associations. Our criticisms may sound harsh. We intend looking for the truth and nothing else. We acknowledge there are many good, dedicated RSL members who are respected and who do a great job, but they are let down by a largely inept, tired and disheveled leadership and by the atrocious behaviour of some ordinary members.

We are currently looking at the Qld RSL. We will widen this focus to embrace the RSL around the country.

The Qld RSL State Branch has much to answer for. Over many years the RSL in Queensland has been riven with fraud, corruption, cronyism and incompetence at many levels. These problems have not been confined to just the State Branch HQ in Brisbane, though this is where the buck stops.

Let us look at some of these matters.

Many years ago [ around 1994 ] the Qld War Veterans Homes and Welfare Art Union, which was set up to benefit the War Veterans of Qld, allowed monies to be used for other illegal purposes. A portion of the profits of the "The Golden Treasure" Art Union [$520,308] was transferred to the National Headquarters of the RSL in Canberra for building repairs and other reasons.  This transfer was secret and at that time unauthorised by the appropriate body of the Qld Branch of the RSL. The pivotal RSL State Branch member involved in this illegal transfer of Qld funds was Eric Kay. No action has even been taken against Kay that we know of or against those who conspired with him. This matter should have been immediately reported to the Police, yet as you will see, the Qld RSL has a penchant for not reporting suspected RSL fraud and corruption within the RSL to the Police. They have consistently shown they prefer to handle suspected criminal matters in house.

A few years ago medals belonging to a War Veterans family were given/donated to the Yeppoon RSL museum, near Rockhampton in Qld. The Curator, an RSL member, then swapped these medals with another RSL member for a rifle and the recipient of the medals then on sold these medals to the War Memorial. A resultant Police investigation concluded that the rifle seller and the War Memorial had no case to answer, the medals were handed back to the seller and the money handed back to the War Memorial and we presume the rifle was handed back to its owner. This curator and the Yeppoon RSL sub branch had no action taken against them. This matter was hushed up and swept under the carpet, like so many others.

Time after time many Qld RSL Clubs and sub branches have found themselves in financial difficulties. It has been common for these RSL Clubs and sub branches [ understand a Club is not a sub branch ] to have been maladministered by frauds and crooks and in some cases the relevant Districts and the State Branch have known of these criminal activities as they have been occurring and, you guessed it, the leaders have never reported these matters to the Police that we know of. The simple matter is that if anybody in the RSL is suspected of fraud or corruption, or any other suspected criminal offence against the League those matters should be handed to the Police for investigation, if the Police consider there are cases to answer they would charge those facing Police allegations and a Court would decide the guilt or innocence of the parties. This procedure is not generally followed in the Qld RSL. Some notorious cases of these types of matters have occurred at the Kingaroy RSL, the Kilcoy RSL, the former Rockhampton RSL and the Maryborough RSL. This list of places is the tip of the iceberg.

In other instances where there may have been no sub branch or club fraud and corruption involved but where club trading had become impossible or the sub branch had become insolvent the State Branch has bailed out sub branches and Clubs with loans, and under the terms of some or all loans 51% ownership of club premises has gone to the State Branch. There is no use throwing good members money after bad and if a business is going to fail with no hope of ever becoming solvent it should be allowed to fail permanently. This is good and normal commercial practice. Under the terms of these loans the loans then have to be paid back but after and if they are cleared the ownership deals remain in place as far as we know. In other words the State Branch ends up owning something for nothing.

Let’s look at the theft by Keith Joyce and the Rockhampton Military and Artifacts Museum of RSL memorabilia which belongs to the RSL members of Rockhampton. Nothing has been done about this that we know of. What about the matter of costs for the Court case to fight Keith Joyces Lone Pine Ltd, a two dollar company which was set up to siphon off all the assets and cash of Rockhampton RSL members. Joyces Lone Pine Ltd lost this Court case and the buildings which were owned by Rockhampton RSL members are now owned by the Poineer Fitzroy Highlands RSL District [ based in Mackay ]. Some office space in these buildings is now rented, and the rentals are used to pay back to State the legal costs it says it incurred. The local Rockhampton RSL members receive none of this rent. How absurd. Not all these so called Legal expenses are legal expenses. Some of the expenses incurred are for superannuation monies paid to that crook Joyce for a superannuation fund he set up as Managing Director of LPL, a Company he set up for his own ends. As LPL managing director he was paid a salary and superannuation contributions from RSL members money. Nothing has been done about any of this . So once again frauds and crooks have had no action taken against them.

Read about Joyce here

As we go to air we are told the Coorparoo RSL Club has gone into receivership and there are many questions hanging over the head of the Coorparoo RSL sub branch and club. We hope our informant sends us some details.

The list goes on and on. It is almost endless. If we were to lay out all cases blow by blow we would be here forever. We will unveil some cases in more detail as time goes on. No doubt you have the picture by now.

The following email was received by AVM and demonstrates the types of matters which concern members.

From: xxxxx xxxx
Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 8:00 PM
Subject: Keith Joyce

Gidday to whoever is on the end of this email.

My name is xxxx xxxx and I was subject to the rantings of Keith Joyce during my time as Secretary/Manager of xxxxxxx RSL Services Club Ltd in 1995-1996 and during this time I was also a member of the xxxxxx Sub-branch and was part of that committee.

This grub many years later posted my name on some website as helping to remove him from the membership of the xxxxxx Sub-branch RSL a fact that I dispute to this day.I may have voted not to re-new his membership of both the organisations mentioned but I certainly did not personally remove him.

I did however remember sending him a letter notifying him that his presence in the registered and licenced part of the building which also housed the sub- branch would not be tolerated as I considered him a trouble maker due to threats and rantings.

I can remember taking many telephone calls from him over a period of time abusing me and asking for written reasons why I had effectively barred him from the licenced premises.

After I discovered I was on a website and not painted as a reputable person I wrote to the Secretary  Qld State RSL asking for information on the current membership status of Joyce and informing them that I appeared on this website.

Guess what - no reply but that did not surprise me as that other grub Bill Mason (ex Western Districts and corrupt as hell) was the incumbent State President.

My name is still on the website that Joyce either created or played a major part of and I can not get it removed.

Any one Googling my full name until about 18 months ago would have seen it and related it back to me if they were a friendly.

This has had a major effect on my life as a Club Manager/Hotel Manager/ Resort Manager and even liquor licence holder as I had to answer questions from potential employers and any person doing a check on me.

The sooner this grub is in the ground the better - his whole life was conceived in stupidity and born of malice and naivety.

Kind regards
Essentially it all comes down to this. RSL members and ADF members and others who are affected by the policies of the RSL are crying out for honesty, full accountability, optimum communications, principled leadership and a modern Constitution.


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