How did you get involved with Nerang RSL?
“My sister-in-law was a cashier at the RSL and mentioned to me that they needed staff. I had worked in a casino prior, so I thought it was a perfect fit and decided to apply – I’ve been working at Nerang RSL for 18 years now.”
Can you share a little about your roles?
In my role as a cashier, I handle payouts and help guests within the Gaming lounge. I’ve also been involved in the administration side of things at the Club for about a year now, which I’m really enjoying. One day a week I help the administration team with aspects like membership mail outs, birthdays, welcoming letters for new members, and sending out ‘surprise and delight’ rewards bonuses to our members.”
What do you most enjoy about working at the RSL?
“I love the members! I get to meet many of our older guests and love to have a chat with them when they visit the Gaming Lounge. Having been at the Club for 18 years now, I’ve also worked alongside many other long-standing staff members who I’ve built great friendships with.”
Outside of your time at Nerang RSL, what is something you’d likely be doing?
“Being a professional tennis supporter! My son was a national level tennis player – and is now a professional coach – so I’ve always been very involved in the tennis world in terms of taking my son to training, travelling for tournaments and ultimately supporting his endeavors. I’m ecstatic to still be involved as I got my niece into tennis, so I still get to be the ‘tennis taxi’ and support her and take her to weekend tournaments too. I wouldn’t change a thing because I love being able to see the kids develop and grow doing something they love, in such a great environment.”
What is one of your highlights across your time working at Nerang RSL?
“Over my 18 years, I think the team at Nerang RSL has mastered being BUSY! We’ve become accustomed to the year-round busy schedule at Nerang RSL and I personally love that it keeps me on my toes. I also really enjoy the vibe that our big events bring and find it humbling to watch our services, such as our ANZAC Day proceedings grow year upon year.”
‘A man of many talents’ – that’s how most people describe Nerang RSL’s member of the month, Ben Samin.
Whether you’ve seen him performing with the globally renowned band Madison Kat, coaching champion martial artists, or working behind the scenes at one of Nerang RSL’s reputable services – Ben’s ‘community spirit’ is one of his most notable traits.
With a background in architectural and engineer model making, Ben joined Nerang RSL more than a decade ago and after taking on several different roles across the Club, is now a regarded board member.
Ben first joined the Nerang RSL after a stint with his popular band Madison Kat – first known as the ‘Gold Coasters’ – when he travelled with the American Army to Vietnam to provide some respite for soldiers.
“The 1970s were a standout year for our family-run show band. My brothers and I were able to travel to Vietnam to perform and provide a bit of Christmas fun and respite to the soldiers, at a time when they needed it most,” he said.
“We spent three months in Vietnam and it was a great feeling to see the effect music, and some extra support, could have on the soldiers and I still to this day remember the smiles on their faces. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget and that feeling of providing mateship and support is mirrored at the Nerang RSL and it’s one of the reasons I was keen to get involved in the Club.”
Fifty years on and Madison Kat now performs as a third-generation band. Ben’s sons and nephew have all embraced the band and continue to rock it out weekly.
However music isn’t the only thing Ben holds close to his heart, but also Martial Arts. He’s a local coach at Nerang PCYC and the Australasian Martial Art Studies (AMAS) Principal. Ben was also chosen by late Master of Bu Di Zhen Kung Fu to re-write family history and guide future directions of Bu Di Zhen Kung Fu.
“I really enjoy teaching martial arts and guiding my students to set and reach goals in the sport,” he said.
“I’ve taught 24 Australian Champions and recently returned from Japan where one of my students came second in the Open Championship’s. Nothing beats that feeling of seeing students compete and have ‘that moment’ when they realise their hard work is paying off – whether in training or on the world stage – it’s a large part of why I do what I do.
“We often sell raffle tickets at Nerang RSL to raise money for our students to compete in tournaments and competitions across the globe, so it’s great to also have the support of the community.”
Ben says he’s very humbled to be part of the Nerang RSL community and since joining the RSL Board over six years ago, continues to enjoy the opportunities it brings.
“I’ve really enjoyed being able to work alongside the team on the RSL Board and get involved in our local community,” said Ben.
“It’s very busy and there’s always something to do, whether helping to organise one of our many services like Remembrance and ANZAC Day or attending meetings and helping out with community projects, but I wouldn’t change it.
“It’s a nice feeling to know I’m doing my part to help out across the community and I’ve met so many great people in the process.”