Helen Blackburn elected RSL sub-branch president


Helen Blackburn was elected president of the Bundaberg RSL sub-branch at the group's annual meeting on Sunday after acting in a caretaker role for eight months.

Ms Blackburn formerly served in the Australian Army, she runs a local business and is a Bundaberg Regional Councillor.

Helen Black has been returned as president of the Bundaberg RSL sub-branch
Helen Black has been returned as president of the Bundaberg RSL sub-branch.

In her report to the meeting, Ms Blackburn commended volunteers, members, the Women's Auxiliary and staff for their contributions.

“I regularly have feedback about the welfare assistance we've provided, the opportunities we've enabled and the activities we've organised for veterans and their families,” she said.

“We should all be proud of what we do and I'm honoured to be part of it.”

Ms Blackburn said it was the 100th annual meeting of the sub-branch.

“The work carried out today is just as important as it was all those years ago,” she said.

In addition to Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services, Ms Blackburn said the sub-branch had provided bursaries to children and grandchildren of returned service personnel and completed the Veteran Support Centre.

Forty-four children received bursaries and Chippindall's Newsagency bolstered these with a 10 per cent addition.

“Monthly musters continued to be well attended, as were the various other activities which have been provided through sub-branch committee initiatives,” Ms Blackburn said.

“I look forward to a busy year ahead with centenary events being undertaken and the continuation of our regular events.”

The welfare report showed that RSL sub-branch volunteers spent 150 hours visiting veterans and widows at home, in nursing homes and during hospital stays,

“These types of visits are an integral part of our welfare system for the ageing population of our members,” the annual report states.

“Volunteers take a small gift or care package when visiting.

“A notable mention was the hand delivery of Christmas baskets made by veterans to 65 of our oldest members.”

Ten monthly musters were held in 2018, with a total of 779 people attending. The gatherings combat social isolation, provide information and enable feedback from members to the committee.

Members reflected sadly on the passing of 35 veterans in 2018.

The sub-branch arranged with Federal Member for Hinkler, Keith Pitt, that an Australian flag would be provided to every family that suffered loss.