Since opening its doors decades ago, the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club has grown a small membership base into that of over 45,000 members. Each and every member is a significant part of what makes the Nerang RSL the special place it is today and our Club is lucky enough to have many members, like our member of the month, Mr Brad Catts, keen to lend a hand around the Club no matter how big or small the task.
If Brad looks a familiar face, it’s likely because you’ve seen him around the Club with a paint brush in hand, or, you’ve read about him in The Stentorian! Last month, we profiled Brad’s wife, Justine, (newlyweds – congratulations!) as our staff member of the month and she shared a little insight into Brad’s involvement at the Club (and his big kid at heart charisma and love for the Gold Coast’s annual Christmas Light competition!). We thought it was only fitting to profile Brad and we’re honoured to do so in the September edition of The Stentorian.
Brad walked through the doors of the Nerang RSL for the first time over five years ago, and he said it didn’t take much convincing to sign up as a member and call the Nerang RSL his new local Club.
“It was the club Justine and I visited years ago and we immediately loved it. the Nerang RSL was, and still is, a great place to visit and grab a bite to eat so we thought ‘why not’ sign up,” said Brad
“We’ve been members for over five years and Justine and I now work at the Club too. It’s a great environment to be part of whether working or visiting for a drink or bite to eat, and, it’s truly a family Club with a fantastic atmosphere… there’s always something happening.”
Brad runs his business Catts Purrfect Painting and Carpentry and regularly lends his skills and expertise of all things painting and carpentry to the Nerang RSL. He helps to make sure our Club is well maintained and looking its best for the community to enjoy.
“I enjoy my work at the Nerang RSL and it has been good to get to know the staff members in the process,” said Brad.
“I’ve painted the Club a few times and the team often calls me in to fix the walls, build chairs and re-paint anything that needs a fresh coat…I help out with anything that needs a ‘pick me up’ or some maintenance.
“After work, I’ll often grab a quick bite to eat while Justine is working, or when she has time off we have dinner together at the Club which is nice.”
Reaching an exciting milestone and taking a weekend off the tools to celebrate, Brad recently held his 50th birthday… with a twist!
“My friends, family and a few staff members from the Nerang RSL were invited to my 50th birthday celebration, which was actually a surprise wedding,” said Brad.
“Justine and I married underneath our Bali Hut with many of our guests watching on in surprise. It was great to see the looks on their faces because only a few family members knew, so we sprung it on many of our guests!
“It was fantastic to see everyone come together to celebrate our special day and we are all definitely a made a good night of it.”
The Nerang RSL Sub-Branch Inc. Secretary Dave Barnicoat took possession of our new LDV G10 People Mover vehicle this year at the Nerang RSL & Memorial Club Inc.
It has since received a new-look and is the First in Queensland to be adorned with the new RSL Queensland Brand Refresh ‘logo’ and has attracted some very positive feedback.
The acceptance of this vehicle was the culmination of two years persistent and dedicated work by Sub-Branch Committee personnel through the Veteran and Community Grants (V&CG) program and approved by the Honourable Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veteran Affairs and Defence Personnel. The Grant approved was for $27,243.75 to assist with the purchase of the vehicle to
reduce social isolation.
The vehicle will be and has been used for several Welfare related tasks including transportation to and from meetings as follows:
• Hospital and Home visits
• Women’s Auxiliary Members
• Legacy Social Group
• View Club Members
• State & District Meetings
• Other Ex service Organisations; and
• Ad-Hoc and other entities as required
I would like to thank the dedicated and persistent efforts of our Grants Officer, Ron James, who spent numerous hours processing the necessary documentation, particularly once the administrative requirements were taken over by Department of Veteran Affairs whereby some of requirements or ‘goal post’ were changed. Ron was ably assisted by former Deputy President Stephen Cook, Secretary Dave Barnicoat and Assistant Treasurer Rod Bovill.
STEWART M. McGETTIGAN
Nerang RSL Sub Branch Inc
For more information, please contact the Nerang RSL Sub Branch.
A new wave of ex-servicemen are joining the ranks of the Nerang RSL Sub Branch as dedicated committee members who are forging a fresh perspective on giving back to the community.
Travis Sinclair, 44, joined the Australian Army in 1995 and was medically discharged in 1999 after a horrific knee injury which led him unable to fulfill his duties.
Upon discharge, Travis worked a variety of jobs including miner and travel agent, and despite reaching out to friends and family for support, still felt a desire to fit in and meet with likeminded individuals who had gone through similar experiences.
That all changed on ANZAC Day in 2014, when Travis struck up a conversation with Nerang RSL Sub Branch committee member Mark Swain.
Travis said the inspiring chat with Mark helped him realise just how important it was to feel a sense of belonging when transitioning to civilian life.
“Mark really put things into perspective for me and explained the fantastic work the Nerang RSL Sub Branch was doing for not only ex-serving members, but also the wider community,” he said.
“I put myself up for election immediately and won a seat on the committee, which I can safely say gave me a renewed sense of duty and responsibility.
“After joining the Nerang RSL Sub Branch I finally had the opportunity to meet a bunch of stand-out lads who could really understand where I was coming from and offered the support and guidance that is so integral to life after service.”
Since commencing his role in 2014, Travis has been heavily involved with all preparations for the club’s annual ANZAC Day commemorations and has guided many young servicemen through transitioning to civilian life.
Travis said having younger members on board the committee would give ex-servicemen of similar age the confidence to reach out for support.
“There is often a stigma associated with RSL clubs that it’s a bunch of old veterans trading war stories over a few beers, which is fine but it’s not the bigger picture,” he said.
“Having younger members on the Sub Branch committee means we can relate to these young men, who often feel they don’t have anyone to talk to or don’t know the first steps in seeking advice.”
“The RSL was designed to be a support network for all ex-serving members, young and old, to come together and form a strong sense of community.”
“It’s great to see that the Nerang RSL has created a closeknit extended family where anyone can come to us for assistance, life advice or just to enjoy a fantastic social atmosphere.”
“It truly doesn’t matter if you served 20 years or 20 months, the fact is we have all been in similar circumstances and as an RSL we are here to embrace members from all walks of life.”
Travis said the best thing about being part of the Nerang RSL Sub Branch is the amount of friends he’s been able to make.
“I’ve forged so many important connections with people I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to meet,” he said.
“Life after service can often be daunting and lonely, so it’s amazing to know that there is such a close network of individuals who can all bond over similar experiences.”
“I’ve been fortunate to re-kindle old friendships from 20 years ago with some of the guys I joined with, and my role has allowed me to do that.”
“I am proud of what I achieved during my years of service and it’s my goal to help other young ex-servicemen transition easier to civilian life and offer support and guidance wherever needed.”
“Young men often feel they aren’t able to share their feelings and it’s crucial for them to know we don’t pass judgement and we are there for them when sometimes others can’t be.”
“We are all cut from a similar cloth (the defence force), so it’s an instant ice breaker to be able to forge these friendships with anyone who is feeling alone.”
“I encourage any ex-serving members who may be feeling a lack of support to come down and have a chat or come along to one of our fantastic events.”
For more information, please contact the Nerang RSL Sub Branch.
‘Locals supporting locals’ is one way to describe the 15 year relationship between Nerang RSL and the Nerang Junior Rugby League Football Club.
The Roosters have welcomed players of all ages and abilities to join the mighty game of Rugby League for over 40 years and they’re set to build on that for many years to come with the announcement of an additional three year sponsorship from Nerang RSL.
The local club, home to over 20 teams and 300 junior players, has propelled several junior players to a representative status on the Gold Coast, Southern Division and Queensland sides – including big names such as Keegan Hipgrave, Mat Rogers, Benji Marshall and Zahara Temara, who made her Australian Jillaroos debut in 2017 and was the youngest member of the Jillaroos World Cup squad.
The Roosters received the sponsorship as part of Nerang RSL’s community fund donation program and were presented an official cheque for the first 12 months of $11,187.00 by member for Gaven, Ms Meaghan Scanlon MP.
President of Nerang Junior Rugby League Football Club, James Fitzgerald, said the club is ecstatic to continue strengthening its ties with Nerang RSL and is extremely grateful for the three year sponsorship.
“Nerang RSL and Nerang Junior Rugby League Football Club have fostered a relationship for over 15 years and it’s fantastic to see that relationship continue to move from strength to strength. The Nerang RSL is a major supporter and contributor to our club and we are extremely appreciative of past sponsorships and we are humbled to receive this additional funding,” said James.
“The funding for the first year will go towards the purchase of non-competition jerseys for our Under six to Under 12 players, Under 14 to Under 16 girls and Under 18 boys.
“If it wasn’t for the support of the community and the Nerang RSL, our club – which is a small non-for-profit organisation, would really struggle to even operate.”
The ‘locals supporting locals’ support also stems past the footy field, with both clubs often putting their hands up to help each other where they can.
“Nerang RSL has even helped to strengthen our relationship with referees and people within the community, and it’s great to see the support go both ways as the Roosters feature Nerang RSL on the front of our club jumpers, polos and on signage at our home grounds, and, not to mention, many of our members’ parents love to visit the RSL for a bite to eat after a game!
“We’ve also been involved in Nerang RSL and Memorial Club’s Anzac commemorations for the past few years and this year, a couple of our members layed a wreath at the service and were part of the March.”
James said the Nerang Junior Rugby League Football Club looks forward to what the future holds.
“It’s fantastic to be involved with a club like Nerang RSL, which is focused on supporting the community and giving back where possible,” he said.
“It helps our club to deliver on what we set out to do which is to ultimately provide an opportunity for kids to get involved in sport and learn about teamwork and mateship, and have fun while doing so.”
It was Hot Wings GALORE at the Nerang RSL last month with our Hot Wings Challenge attracting food fanatics, competitive eaters and lovers of the wings to the RSL in an attempt to tackle the wings and claim victory as king or queen of the Hot Wings.
20 competitors took to the stage to do their best damage and finish TEN full-sized wings in seven minutes. The Hot Wings were well and truly HOT made by Head Chef Jason Blond using a concoction of Blair’s Death Sauce Australia products mixed with loads of the world’s hottest chilli “The Carolina Reaper”, putting competitors to the ultimate test.
The competition saw the return of the renowned Chad ‘Froman’ Jones who made history as Nerang RSL’s first Pig Out Pie Eating Contest held on Australia Day this year. Chad proved the Hot Wings were no challenge as he devoured all 10 insanely hot wings in 1:52 to take out first prize of $300 cash and Hot Wing champion Hat & Shirt.
Close behind was Michael Harrison scoring $75 cash plus hat & shirt and finishing not long after and in third place, was Hendrika who took home $25 plus merchandise.
The atmosphere was absolutely electric as the crowd cheered on our competitors who put on their bravest faces. It was a fantastic afternoon for all and all the photos from the day can be found on our Facebook Page plus each wave of the competition can be seen on our YouTube Channel.
Nerang RSL welcomes Wakefield Trinity players and presents gold coast titans $1000 cheque at Nerang RSL’s ‘big talk’ night in support of the Men of League Foundation.
Talking all-things footy and life beyond the Fields, to cooking snags on the BBQ and raising funds for the Men of League Foundation, the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club’s recent Big Talk night in support of the Men of League Foundation was certainly one to remember!
The Nerang RSL presented a one thousand dollar cheque to the Gold Coast Titans in support of their Physical Disability Rugby League Team and welcomed three super league players from Wakefield Trinity, who flew from the United Kingdom, to attend Big Talk and play against the Gold Coast Titans Physical Disability Rugby League team (GCTPDRL) in a curtain-raiser game prior to the Titans taking on the Broncos at CBUS Stadium last month.
The Nerang RSL’s Big Talk night was BIG indeed with guests not only sharing in some banter, a barbeque and some bevies, but also the opportunity to listen to Wakefield Trinity’s Darren Dean, Connor Lynes and Ben Nicholson share about their physical disabilities, passion for Rugby League and life beyond the footy field.
Nerang RSL Board Member – and footy fanatic, coach of league referees and the night’s official emcee – Lloyd Evans, said the Nerang RSL was pleased to present the Titans with a cheque and welcome Darren, Connor and Ben for a fantastic night in support of the Men of League Foundation.
“The recent Big Talk night held at Nerang RSL was one for the history books! It was fantastic the Nerang RSL was able to present a cheque to the Titans in support of their Physical Disability Rugby League Team and have Gold Coast Titans CEO Steve Mitchell, Executive Chairman Dennis Watt, Community and Game Development Officer Renee Cohen and their latest signing, English International Kallum Watkins at the RSL. It was also nice to
see the local community come together to hear Darren, Connor and Ben, all the way from the UK, share their stories and passion for Rugby League,” said Lloyd.
“The Nerang RSL is proud to be able to provide a donation to help with the costs associated with hosting a physical disability game. There are many individuals who can’t partake in League at high-end levels because of
physical disability, whether due to aspects like Cerebral Palsy or injury resulting from an accident, and, as part of their community work the Gold Coast Titans formed the Physical Disability Rugby League team which allows players with physical disability to get involved in modified games, be part of a team and have some fun on the footy field.
“Big Talk also saw the likes of English fullback Paul Charlton, halfback for Australia Dennis Ward, centre for Australia Bob Honan and New Zealand half-back Graeme Farrar join us. It was fantastic to see the Rugby League community, and the wider community, come together to enjoy all the night had to offer while raising money for the Men of League Foundation.”
Following Big Talk at the Nerang RSL, Darren, Connor and Ben were treated like NRL royalty.
“The boys took to the field and played against the GCTPDRL team as part of the Legends team, which in the past has included the likes of Scott Prince and Preston Campbell, in a curtain-raiser before the Titans took on the Broncos at CBUS Stadium last month,” Lloyd said.
“It was great to see the excitement and the smiles on the boys’ faces as they took to the field to partake in a sport they love.
“Darren, Connor and Ben were also taken under the wing of the Melbourne Storm, who kindly gave the boys a unique game-day experience, including a tour of the Storm’s dressing room before their game against the Titans last month.”
Lloyd said the Nerang RSL, a community-centric club, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to support the boys on their adventure ‘Down Under,’ invite them to Big Talk, and, showcase the Club’s support for GCTPDRL.
“It was humbling to play a part in Darren, Connor and Ben’s experience in Australia and great to know that we’ve been able to assist the GCTPDRL,” said Lloyd.
“The Nerang RSL is ecstatic both parties came along to our Big Talk night, which is always held in support of a great cause. The Nerang RSL has donated around $30,000 to the Men of League Foundation to date and our relationship only continues to move from strength to strength.
“I encourage everyone to keep an eye out for our next event and come along. It’s always a fantastic night and everyone is welcome whether Nerang RSL members, footy fanatics, families or kids!”
For further information on the Men of League Foundation, visit www.menofleague.com
Q) How did you come across the Nerang RSL and what is your role?
“I was a member of the Nerang RSL and each time I visited the RSL, the staff were so nice and welcoming, and always seemed to be having lots of fun. I really wanted to be part of it and threw in my day job …and the rest is history! I’ve worked at the Club for three and a half years now and I absolutely love it. I’m the Gaming Supervisor, which involves hosting our members, overseeing staff, keeping up to date with new machines and the promotions we’re running, as well as staff training.”
Q) What is a highlight across your time at the Nerang RSL?
“Being a part of the Nerang RSL family. I really enjoy working with the team at the RSL and interacting with our members and guests, it’s simply a great atmosphere. It’s a fantastic community to be a part of and the Club is truly like family.”
Q) Your husband-to-be, Brad, owns local business Catts Purrfect Painting and Carpentry and often lends a hand at the Nerang RSL. Can you tell us about this?
“Brad is the Club’s go-to-guy for everything painting and carpentry! He’s helped with everything from patching holes and re-painting the entire Club, to replacing doors and basically brings out the tools for anything that requires maintenance at the RSL.”
Q) You’ve recently become a grandparent. Congratulations and what are you enjoying most?
“Thank you! Yes, I became a grandparent three months ago. We just love his little smile and it’s nice to go through the baby phase again but also to be able to hand him back, and not have to do all of the hard work!” laughed Justine.
Q) Do you have a favourite dish on the menu at Nerang RSL?
“The Nachos in the Café is one of my favourite go-to options.”
Q) You’ve started planning for this year’s Gold Coast Christmas Light Competition and have made the Top 10 in previous years. Can you tell us about this?
“We’ve entered the Gold Coast Christmas Light Competition since 2012 and absolutely love it; it’s always a bit of fun. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it – we decorate the entire house so, at the moment, we’re deciding what to include in the design. It’s then a matter of pulling out all of the equipment to see what we already have and what we’re going to add to give it a new WOW factor. It’s great to see the community come together to enjoy the displays and Brad’s a big kid at heart, so he loves it.”
If Geoff Stephan looks a familiar face, or the name rings a bell, it’s likely because he’s been proactively involved in the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club community for decades. Geoff has been an active member and President of the Nerang RSL Sub Branch, a Club Committee Member, and Treasurer, and, is the official emcee of the Vietnam Veterans Commemoration Service to be held this month. It’s safe to say Geoff Stephan has and continues to be, a valued member of the Nerang RSL community and we’re honoured to profile our life member in the August edition of The
Before making his mark at the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club, Geoff dedicated over 20 years to military service. Although originally deferring national service and leaving Sydney for Narrabri, where he got a job at the local RSL, it wasn’t long until he found himself back in Sydney and at the front door of the recruitment office for the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force.
“I walked in, signed up and returned home – and wasn’t in my father’s good books seeing as he was in the Navy, and asked why I joined the Army. I told him I could walk and run faster than I could swim,” said Geoff.
“I went overseas as an infantry soldier and after eight months in Vietnam I returned home, became a technician and worked my way up to Sergeant in the workshop. I had been talking to a Regiment Sergeant Major (RSM) who suggested I tried going Regimental. I became a Class Two and Squadron Sergeant Major and then a Warrant Office Class One, which is a Regimental Sergeant Major and began to teach others who were going to be Warrant Officers.”
“After 21 years of service, I decided it was time for me to finish up. I bought a house in Nerang and having been a returned serviceman I knew about the local Nerang RSL and decided to join. I was only there for a little while before my wife, Yvonne, bought a shop in Mermaid Beach, so I joined another Club on the Gold Coast.
“At the time I was working for the Vietnam Veterans Federation and we moved over to Nerang, so I was happy to return back to my local, the Nerang RSL. I started to get involved in things like selling meat tray raffles, which was a great opportunity to get to know many of the members and staff.”
“I started going along to the Sub Branch meetings at the Nerang RSL and given that I was already qualified in handling pensions and pension inquiries, decided to help out and get involved at the Sub Branch wherever I could.”
From selling meat trays at the Club and attending Sub Branch meetings, it wasn’t long until Geoff stepped up as President of the Sub Branch, a role he upheld from 2006 to 2015.
“I got on the Committee as Deputy President of the Sub Branch and became President of the Sub Branch in 2006, as well as joining the Committee of the Memorial Club. I was, and am still, very passionate about the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club so it’s a nice feeling knowing I’ve contributed to making the Club what it is today,” said Geoff.
“We had our share of hurdles along the way when it came to the initial expansion of the Nerang RSL. There was a bit of controversy between the Club and the Sub Branch surrounding whether to expand and although I was part of the Sub Branch, in my eyes, we could either stay in the small clubhouse, or expand and evolve, and provide a fantastic Club for the community. After much discussions and a vote, we went on with the extensions and had numerous meetings to discuss and decide what would be best for both the Club and the Sub Branch.
“I’ve really enjoyed all of my roles at the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club and am humbled I’ve been able to contribute to shaping special aspects around the club including Cenotaph. the Sub Branch at the time decided to put up a new wall because the original one was starting to fall apart and wasn’t big enough for all of the remembrance plaques. I came up with a design and the new wall went up, and, it’s great to see it standing there today with additional modifications over time by Nerang RSL’s Sub Branch.”
Geoff is now a lifetime member of the Nerang RSL and the official emcee of the Vietnam Veterans Commemoration Service which will be held at the RSL on Vietnam Veterans Day to commemorate the service of all men and women who served in Vietnam.
“When I was asked to be the emcee of the Vietnam Veterans Commemoration Service for the first time in 2018, I was very emotional and loved the idea,” said Geoff.
“I received a lot of positive feedback last year which is very humbling and I’m now going to be emceeing the Commemorative Service for years to come, until I can’t do it anymore. It’s something I really look forward to because it’s a special and important day for the community to come together to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Geoff said he’s pleased with the opportunity to continue to play a part at the Nerang RSL, and, said he can’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Club for a bit of banter and a bevvy (and to see his grandchildren who also work at the Nerang RSL!).
“It’s great to have seen the Nerang RSL evolve into the community-centric and supportive environment and the facility it is today”, said Geoff.
“The members make it a special place and the staff are very welcoming and are great to have a laugh with. I love to come along to the Nerang RSL on a Friday, hang out in the #4211SportzBar with my mates, share a few bevies and have a good chat. My grandchildren also work at the Club too, which is quite special!”
Locals supporting locals has long been engrained in the culture at Nerang RSL and Memorial Club and last month the support was RAMPED UP with over $20K donated by the Nerang RSL to a number of locals and community groups as part of the Club’s Community Fund Donation Initiative in July.
An impressive $20,750 was donated by the Nerang RSL in the recent round of Community Fund Donation presentations held at the Club and Nerang RSL and Memorial Club Vice President, Mr Jim Poland presented cheques to each recipient.
Since the inception of its Community Fund Donation initiative in 1996, the Nerang RSL has assisted over 200 groups and individuals from all areas of the community. The initiative aims to support those who would benefit from the additional funds, to assist with costs associated with running and maintaining respective groups and to put individuals in closer stead to reaching their goals.
Nerang RSL and Memorial Club General Manager, Andrew McInnes, said it was particularly humbling to watch on as the Nerang RSL presented over $20,000 at the quarterly donation ceremony in July.
“Showing support to the local community is very important to the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club and it’s very exciting that we’ve been able to donate over $20,000 in this grant period, to numerous groups and individuals,” said Andrew.
A total of six individuals and groups received donations in Round 25 of the Community Fund Donation presentations including the mighty Nerang Cardinals Baseball Club, which received a cheque of $7500 from the Nerang RSL.
The family-oriented Baseball Club has over 300 members ranging in age from four years old to 84 years old, and has a team to suit everyone. The relationship between the Nerang RSL and the Baseball Club spans over ten years and President of the Cardinals Baseball Club Mark Flood said the Club is extremely thankful for the donation and is ecstatic to continue to strengthen its ties with the Nerang RSL.
“Nerang RSL has long been recognised as one of the Nerang Cardinals’ major sponsors and being a non-for-profit organisation, the support of the Nerang RSL goes a long way. We’re very humbled to receive this donation and look forward to continuing to strengthen our ten year relationship with the Nerang RSL,” said Mark.
“Without the support of the Nerang RSL it would be very hard to provide the facilities and equipment necessary to run our Club. Baseball equipment expires quickly, meaning we are frequently upgrading our equipment, so this donation will assist immensely in the purchase of new equipment and helps to ensure we are able to provide the best facilities to our players.
“We have a great relationship with the Nerang RSL and we’re proud to promote the RSL as a major sponsor at events like the Pan Pacific Baseball Games. We have the Nerang RSL logo on the back of our jerseys and regularly hold our Gala Presentations at the Club, which is always a lot of fun.”
The Nerang Cardinals hosts the Pan Pacific Baseball Games every two years as well as international baseball games which help to attract business to the local area. The Baseball Club also opens up its clubhouse on a regular basis for use by community groups such as Crime Stoppers and Neighborhood Watch, and, is currently working toward introducing a Nerang Cardinals Ladies Baseball Team.
“The Nerang Cardinals Baseball Club prides itself on being a family-oriented club and we understand the importance of community supporting community,” said Mark.
“It’s fantastic to be able to have a relationship with groups which foster exactly that, and, it was great to see the community come together at the Nerang RSL’s Community Fund Presentation night.”
Among the list of recipients was the Nerang RSL Netball Club Junior Reps, with four of the club’s representative players each receiving a donation to assist with numerous fees. The Gold Coast Rugby League Referees Association received its second-year sponsorship donation as part of a three-year sponsorship by the Nerang RSL. The Nerang Branch of the Australian Red Cross Society also received a donation to assist in the purchase of two new wheelchairs.
The Nerang BMX Club received a sponsorship to assist with the planning and execution of the 2020 Nerang Nationals, a BMX event the club is set to host which is expected to attract more than 5000 people across four days. Aaron Mullenger also received a donation from the Nerang RSL and for numerous years has been a competitor in the TREC FOR REC race, a 7.5km foot race helping to raise funds for Gold Coast Sports and Recreation for the Disabled. The race helps instill confidence and self-esteem whilst encouraging many young people to reach their best potential and in previous years, Aaron has been the top fundraiser.
Nerang RSL and Memorial Club would like to thank and congratulate all recipients. For more information on the Community Fund Donation initiative, please contact the Nerang RSL or download a community funding application from our home page.
Our Senior Steward and all-round superstar, Bianca Daley, was the first employee at Nerang RSL and Memorial Club to be awarded an exclusive scholarship on the back of a recent partnership between Nerang RSL and Australia’s leading university, Bond University, to offer an exciting new scholarship program to its indigenous employees.
The collaboration sees a Nerang RSL indigenous staff member awarded a scholarship on a bi-annual basis, allowing the employee to further excel their career and expertise while continuing to work at the Club.
Having worked across various departments at Nerang RSL for five years, Biancas dedication, commitment and exceptional work ethic prompted the Nerang RSL to explore the scholarship opportunity.
Commencing her Diploma in Business Management in January, Bianca has now reached the six month mark and we caught up with her to chat all-things university, Nerang RSL and more!
Q) How did you first come across Nerang RSL and can you tell us about your roles across your time at the RSL?
“My friend told me about a food and beverage position that was going at Nerang RSL and at the time I was looking for a job so I decided to apply. I got a call a couple of months later, around the time of renovations at the club, and I was asked to come in for an interview. I went in for the interview and within a couple of hours I’d landed the job and started as a waiter upstairs at the Club. Five years later and I’ve worked across various departments including in the café and I’ve been promoted to a Senior Steward position which involves running the café and
making sure all is going to plan!”
Q) You’re in your second semester at Bond University studying a Diploma in Business Management. How is university life treating you, tell us about it!?
“My first semester was a rollercoaster and trying to find balance and consistency was quite a challenge. I got through the semester however and was very proud of myself and now I’m in my second semester and have definitely found balance and consistency> Bond University is such a beautiful place to study and I’m very much enjoying my time!”
Q) What’s it like juggling university and your role at Nerang RSL?
“The support I receive from both Nerang RSL and Bond University is fantastic. If there’s ever a time where I need to be at uni but I’m also working, the RSL is very flexible and encouraging when juggling my university and work schedule. I feel very supported by the Nerang RSL and this support even extends to my assessments – if I ever need an audience to practice a presentation in front of, I know I can always count on the team!
I have a great support network at Bond University as well – I see my tutor twice a week and she helps guide me in terms of completing homework and assessments, to making sure I’m on track with my grades. I feel very supported all round!”
Q) What are you most enjoying about your program?
“Studying a Diploma in Business Management has allowed me to delve into the theory of business and it’s fantastic that I’ve been able to, and continue to, develop my knowledge and understanding to accompany my practical skill set. I really love working at Nerang RSL and am looking forward to continuing to apply my skills, as well as bringing a new skill set
and my new learnings to the workplace.
I’d love to progress into a management position at Nerang RSL and with the renovations at the club nearing including a hotel, it opens up a whole range of possibilities. I’m open to opportunities and excited as to what lies ahead!”
Q) Do you have any special talents, hobbies or interests?
“I used to play soccer and am still really passionate about it!”
Q) When you’re not working or studying, what are you likely doing?
“You’ll usually find me hanging out with my best friends and having lunch, going to one of their houses to have some drinks and catch up, or simply at home relaxing!”
A helping hand never goes astray and over eight years ago, Nerang RSL and Memorial Club had the vision to provide exactly that, a helping hand no matter how big or small.
Recognising the need for additional support for community-based groups and their endeavors to raise funds for varying projects, Nerang RSL established its Helping Hands initiative which to date has provided assistance to over 100 groups and organisations within the local community.
The initiative sees members of community groups involved in Helping Hands, and their friends, family, and neighbors (to name a few!), sit back, relax and enjoy a bite to eat at Nerang RSL. To say ‘thank you’ for dining in and providing a helping hand in return, Nerang RSL provides a donation to the community group.
Nerang RSL and Memorial Club General Manager, Andrew McInnes, said the Helping Hands initiative has become engrained in the Club’s culture and he is humbled to see it thriving years later.
“In the spirit of being a pillar of support within the community, Nerang RSL and Memorial Club had the vision to extend its support even wider to groups that might benefit from some extra support,” said Andrew.
“Helping Hands is now a thriving community initiative which sees community groups involved in the initiative, receive $5.00 for every voucher presented with a main meal purchased to the value of $16.90 or more at our renowned Gallipoli Bistro & Bar on any given Monday night.
“The Helping Hands Initiative has become engrained in the Nerang RSL’s culture and has helped to strengthen relationships within the local community as well as develop new ones. To not only receive support from local community groups, but also know Helping Hands has helped, and continues to help, numerous groups within our local community is humbling.”
One of the many community groups that have been involved with Helping Hands is Ashmore Scout Group. The group has over 100 kids across its Joey, Cub, Scouts and Venturer Scouts sections and sets out to promote and enhance the physical, intellectual, social, spiritual and emotional development of youth members so they can take a constructive place in society as responsible citizens, and as members of their local, national and international communities.
Ashmore Scouts first became involved with Helping Hands in 2013 and current adult member Robyn Buglar, or Possum as she’s more commonly known around the Scouts Den!, said it’s fantastic to see locals helping locals within the community.
“Initiatives like Helping Hands truly brings people together, strengthens ties within the community and is a nice way of showing support for one another,” said Robyn.
“The funds Ashmore Scouts has received from involvement with the Helping Hands initiative has assisted with the tasks and responsibilities that come with running a community group…it all helps one way or another.”
Robyn has been involved in all things camping, hiking and rock climbing to orienteering, open Fire cooking and guiding youth as a leader at Ashmore Scouts for over 18 years and said it’s a fantastic opportunity for youth to get involved in the community, develop new skills and overcome challenges all whilst having lots of fun.
“Scouts is youth-led and adult-supervised so it’s great to get involved in programs like Scouts because it’s an opportunity to learn and develop across numerous facets and as youth move through the program, they become more reliable and self-sufficient,” said Robyn.
“The kids get involved in many community aspects and just last year, some of our Scouts put together parcels to send to the men and women fighting overseas. There are also opportunities to get involved in fundraising and events like Cuborees for the Cub section, Venturer for the Venture section and World Jamborees which each other the opportunity to come together for a range of exciting activities and to meet new friends alike.
“It’s great to have initiatives within our community that bring people together and also to have places like the Nerang RSL and Scouts that foster that sense of community.”
If there’s one man who knows the ins and outs of Nerang RSL and Memorial Club, it’s our inaugural member, first-ever Club President, and the Club Patron, Mr. Rodney Dux (now O.A.M!). A passion for the community and a long military career inspired Rod to first join the Nerang RSL Sub Branch more than 30 years ago.
He is now a Wikipedia on most things Nerang RSL. Rod has seen the club evolve from the vacant block of land that he was instrumental in acquiring for the first RSL clubhouse, to the bustling RSL complex it is today. A close working association with the previous Albert Shire Council was instrumental in achieving some of the early goals.
But if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed over the years, it’s Rod’s passion for the community and since we last spoke to him, he’s received a prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia (O.A.M). We’re delighted to profile our Member #1 as he takes us back down memory lane at Nerang RSL and shares what makes him tick in the July edition of the Stentorian.
Rod played an integral role in establishing Nerang RSL and Memorial Club and since, has been heavily involved in a variety of community initiatives including groups such as the Albert Australia Day Foundation whose annual event was directly supported by both the Sub Branch and the Club, the Gold Coast Australia Day Foundation, the Heritage Voice museum support initiative and the Albert Battery. In addition he is a three-time published author of well-researched works on previously unpublished aspects of the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces before and during the First World War.
As part of Queen Elizabeth 2’s Official Birthday Celebrations this year Rod was listed among the recipients of the Order of Australia Medal (O.A.M.) that was awarded for his long term contribution to the community of the Gold Coast.
“I’m very honoured to be a recipient of the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia for my involvement across the community, it’s very much a privilege,” said Rod.
“My family and friends were naturally very proud as well and it’s quite a pleasant and unexpected experience when the effort you’ve put in over the years is recognised by such an award.”
“Having said that, without the long term support of family and friends and a peer group network, it wouldn’t be possible… it’s always a team effort and I’ve just helped to lead the way.”
One of the places he’s done exactly that is the Nerang RSL, where he played a major role in the establishment and success of the Club and lead the team to put hammer to nail in the 80’s to build what is now a beating heart within our local community.
“I became involved with the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club when I first joined as a member and soon after President of the Sub Branch over 30 years ago…back when we held our meetings in the local community hall before we had a space to call our own!” said Rod.
“We had a block of land located in what is now the industrial area of Nerang that was later deemed unsuitable for a club site. Most importantly our available funds were meagre to say the least. The decision was taken to sell the land to obtain funds and to secure a suitable block of land, preferably public land with low annual rental. After much discussion with Council and the builders/owners of the unit complex next door, a deal was struck and the existing club land portion changed ownership to the Sub Branch at no financial outlay. With a block of land and funds intact we engaged an architect.
“Among the many aspects requiring volunteer attention was the need to actually form the nucleus of a club membership of sufficient numbers to assist with licensing and other requirements. Existing Sub Branch numbers were not sufficient therefore it was quite a challenge to identify and sign up ex-service and other members for the yet to be built club. Unfortunately nothing ever runs to plan. The building budget required stretching to accommodate an unexpected contractor’s miscalculation of the number of bricks needed among other things. the council requirement back then was to build “hi-set” thereby producing an amount of useless but expensive space on the lower level. Fortunately, times have changed.
“Apart from the basic building, a number of volunteers put in the hard yards to achieve our vision of building a place of support and enjoyment for returned servicemen and women and the wider community. there were other hurdles in the process, one being Gaming Laws. Poker machines were not yet legal in Queensland therefore all revenues necessary to operate and service the debt came from food and beverage. It was quite a regular occurrence for bus loads of punters from Brisbane and the Coast to head forthe clubs in the Northern Rivers. it made a major difference when the machines were introduced in Queensland because it brought members back to local clubs like Nerang RSL and gave us the opportunity to raise extra revenue to help with the processes involved with building a functioning club that also supports the local community.”
Since turning the SOD more than two decades ago, Rod says it’s very pleasing to see the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club absolutely thriving today.
“It’s fantastic to see the Club where it is today and full marks to the team who took over and who have built the business to what it is now,” said Rod.
“Since day one Nerang RSL has always had a passionate team behind it and its continued success I believe reflects continuity, a great committee, a fantastic CEO and an amazing team of staff.”
He’s no longer an active committee member at Nerang RSL, but Rod’s kept busy fulfilling his President-like duties through his roles as President of the Gold Coast Australia Day Foundation, Chairman of Heritage Voice and President of the Albert Battery among a number of other pursuits calling on any spare time.
As to what sees Rod continue to lend a hand within his local community, he had the following to say. “No matter how big or small the task, someone has to do it and there are so many fantastic volunteers across Australia that are involved in providing a helping hand where they can,” said Rod.
“I continue to be genuinely interested in what I do, exploring new and related challenges and the satisfaction of knowing I’ve been able to play a part in my local community and contribute to shaping successful groups such as the Nerang RSL.”