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The gift of giving

The gift of giving has put big smiles on many faces at Round 26 of Community Fund Donation presentations held at the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club recently, recognising the range of sponsorships and donations made by the Nerang RSL to the local community.

The Community Fund Donation program supports community groups and individuals of all backgrounds and has done so since the Nerang RSL established the initiative in 1996.

The program has also enabled the Nerang RSL to further strengthen ties with the local community and forge new relationships with groups like the Gold Coast Volleyball Club.

The Volleyball Club approached the Nerang RSL seeking a major sponsor and, to help the club continue its contribution to the community, the Nerang RSL gifted the club with a $5000 sponsorship at the recent Community Fund presentations.

The Gold Coast Volleyball Club, established in 2017, has over 200 members and provides an opportunity for all people, regardless of age or skill, to get involved through skill development and social competitions. It also has an Elite Athlete Program in place to assist athletes in the transition to a national and international level of competition.

Gold Coast Volleyball Club President Brett Bennett said the club, which is entirely run by volunteers, is extremely thankful for the sponsorship.

“The Gold Coast Volleyball Club is ecstatic to receive this donation from the Nerang RSL and it will greatly assist to get our coaches, who are all volunteers, upgraded to Level 3 accreditations,” said Brett.

“It’s quite expensive to do and often, coaches have to cover their own expenses on top of what they already pay for in terms of travelling for coaching and competitions not only locally but state wide.

“We’re very lucky to have amazing coaches which is a major benefit to our club and players, so it’s very important to support these people to be the best they can be.”

Brett said the Gold Coast Volleyball Club also looks forwardto having the Nerang RSL as its official ‘home base.’

“We’ve supported the Nerang RSL and held presentations at the RSL before, so we’re grateful to have formed this new relationship and have the RSL as a home base and somewhere we can come back to after training or competitions, and for awards nights and social nights,” he said.

“This sponsorship by the Nerang RSL ultimately enables us to continue to grow our Club and it’s nice to see community groups supporting each other.”

Also among the list of donation recipients was Nerang State School, which received $4823 to assist with the purchase of 13 ipads and headphones for use by the Year 3 cohort.

The purchases will increase the equipment available to facilitate purposeful engagement of students in the digital world and will enable all students to adequately participate in programs like online NAPLAN.

Young local and Nerang Pony Club’s Nathan Moynihan was also presented with a $250 donation to assist with travelling to Sydney and representing Queensland at a five day event involving dressage, show jumping and cross country.

In the spirit of Christmas, the Nerang RSL, alongside Councillor Peter Young, has supported the Nerang Celebrates Committee for numerous years – with 2019 being no exception.

The RSL presented the committee with a $3300 donation to assist with the annual Christmas Carols at Bischof Park held by the committee each year, bringing the local community together for a fun afternoon of food, rides, stage performances from young artists and singers, and much more.

The donation assisted the Committee to purchase prizes for an Art Competition run in conjunction with the Christmas Carols, which encourages local school children to submit an artwork themed ‘What Christmas means to you.’

In the past, the art competition has received over 600 entries and the donation by the Nerang RSL will assist with prizes across junior and senior school categories.

Meet Staff Member Sandy Oliver

Q) How did you come across the Nerang RSL and can you share a bit about yourself?

“I was fortunate to hear about the Nerang RSL and the opportunity for a job due to a mutual good friend who already worked at the club. They encouraged me for some time to make a move as I had been a stay at home parent for over 12 years prior – I’ve been employed at the Nerang RSL for around 14 months now and really enjoy it. I have a work experience background in the industry
having completed an Associate Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management at TAFE in Sydney back many moons ago, when I finished my final schooling (I won’t mention the year). I initially started work at the Epping Club in Sydney, which was my home town growing up, as the Gaming and Safe Supervisor and moved on to working on the table games at the Sydney Harbour Casino when it first opened (this was where I met my partner for life, Michael!). I also went on over the next 20 years to work in the tourism industry expanding my work experience at other major
organisations including Flight Centre and Virgin Airlines. I have now come full circle in my career and am back in the RSL community here at Nerang and loving it.

Q) Can you share a little about your role at Nerang RSL?

“I absolutely love my new role at the Nerang RSL as a Gaming Attendant and have realised since working here, that it is a very community oriented place to work. I assist members and visitors on the floor with gaming payouts, poker machine questions, beverage and food orders (and exceptional customer service of course!). I love to ensure each and every member feels welcomed and has a positive and memorable experience at our Club.”

Q) What are some of the promotions held in the Gaming Lounge at Nerang RSL?

“We have a variety of promotions ongoing and new ones that come up throughout the year. We have daily promotions during the week such as pick a box, our Members Draw, raffles and funny money as well as larger promotions which I have seen being a $10k giveaway and also a Car giveaway. These days and nights are a huge success and attract large crowds to the Club.”

Q) What is one of your favourite memories or a highlight of your time at the Nerang RSL?

“There is always a wonderful mix of people to work alongside of and so many amazing people and members to meet – it has been eye opening and so rewarding coming back to work after so many years. I also recently experienced the Remembrance Day ceremony at the club which was extremely moving. Some of my family members have previously served in the Armed Services, so it was nice to see everyone come together on the day.”

Q) What are you likely doing when you’re not at the RSL?

“Having my three kids, Christian 13, Georgia 10 and Hannah 9, I am kept exceptionally busy with appointments. Most of my spare time is looking after and making sure they are resilient, happy and content. My elder two kids have a rare condition called Usher Syndrome – they were born profoundly deaf and are now living with the progressive eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), ultimately causing very fast vision loss. Our life as parents now focuses on giving them the best opportunities before their vision deteriorates more. they have never travelled so we have a good looking bucket list for them. My two eldest are now classified as legally blind having only 10 degrees peripheral vision. Unfortunate yes, but most days we try to look forward, despite the obstacles, look to the positive and always have a very “can do” attitude. You’ll see that in my smile and happy spirit every day at the Club.”

Q) Do you have any hobbies or talents that your colleagues don’t know about?

“Being a mum to three young children, with the kids having so many talents themselves and extra challenges, I find myself as the typical mum running them around like a taxi driver when I am not working. My special talent is juggling all three with their school and extracurricular activities and affording to pay for it all. Thus a big reason for returning back to work. Haha!”

Meet Staff Member Nadia Sweeney

Nadia Sweeney Nerang RSL

Q) How long have you been working at Nerang RSL and can you share a little about your role?

“I’ve been working at the Nerang RSL for just over four years now and absolutely love it. I’m a Senior Steward in the 4211 Café and work upstairs as a Senior Steward in the restaurant of an evening. I work under our Head Chef, Jason, and from his direction, look after the cafe and make sure everything’s running to plan!”

Q) Have you always had a passion for the hospitality industry?

“When I was younger I travelled quite a lot with my dad, which meant I got to experience a lot of different hotels and restaurants. I loved it and thought I’d like to be involved in the hospitality industry one day, so when I left school I worked in hotels for a few years and it evolved from there. I really enjoy my role at the Nerang RSL and I work with a great bunch of people which makes it even better!”

Q) You recently travelled to Sydney for a food and wine festival to get inspiration for the new 4211 café menu – can you share a little about this?

“I went to a food and wine festival in Sydney for the day with Head Chef Jason, to test a whole range of food and get some inspiration for the new 4211 café menu. It was a fantastic day
and Jason and I were able to bounce ideas off each other and learn about different products. It was really eye-opening and we walked away with some great ideas for the new menu.”

Q) What are some of the key aspects to consider when creating a new menu?

“There are a lot of things to consider when creating a new menu, but for our 4211 Café, we definitely focussed on incorporating dishes that we’re able to produce efficiently using the equipment that we have. It’s not only important that we’re able to cook a nice dish, but also to ensure we can deliver the food on time especially on our busy nights. Another aspect to consider is clientele – it is very important to be practical as not every dish will appeal to every person.”

Q) What is one of your favourite dishes on the new menu and why?

“I have lots of favourites! But I’d have to say the Karaage Chicken Sliders. They were special on our menu a few months ago and our guests absolutely loved them, so we’ve kept them on the menu. It’s just a tasty dish overall and the three sliders are the perfect amount – not too much, but enough to fill you up!”

Q) When you’re not at the RSL, what are you likely doing?

“I enjoy fitness and I’ve run a few half marathons, so I’m usually out running! I also really enjoy spending time with my family and we usually like to visit different restaurants, especially tapas restaurants, or visit gin bars and just enjoy time as a family.”

 

Stewart McGettigan Nerang RSL Sub Branch

Our Nerang RSL and Memorial Club’s Sub Branch President, Mr. Stewart McGettigan, has been at the helm of Nerang RSL’s Sub Branch since 2015 and is a long-standing member of the Club since 2003. Stewart has played a momentous part in making the Sub Branch and the Nerang RSL the special place it is today and we’re proud to profile him in this month’s edition of The Stentorian.

Stewart’s outstanding commitment to running the Sub Branch and also his role as Pension and Compensation Advocate has seen him oversee several Anzac Day, Remembrance Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and other ceremonies while offering a strong network of support for veterans and their families.

He understands the importance of making support networks available to veterans and their families first hand as prior to his roles at the Nerang RSL Sub Branch, Stewart served for 29 years in the Royal Australian Air Force and was stationed in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and all across Australia. Able to connect and draw upon his own experiences, Stewart is also the Nerang RSL Sub Branch’s Wellbeing Advocate and trainer and mentor to the team.

He is a passionate supporter of the Nerang RSL and says the support from the Club has been instrumental in creating a dynamic Sub Branch.

“We wouldn’t exist without the tireless support from the club and the hard work they undertake every day,” he said.

“With the efforts of Andrew McInnes, Nerang RSL’s General Manager, and his talented team, the Club has gone from strength to strength in recent years and it’s no secret that it’s a top spot for the local community to enjoy.

“All the hard work the team puts in is directly responsible for keeping the Sub Branch going and ultimately allowing us to help more and more families in the veteran community.

“You couldn’t possibly meet a better group of staff who are always willing to have a conversation and help with anything you need.

“On Fridays, I get together with the boys and have a few beers, and it’s always a pleasure to take part in the warm and inviting social atmosphere at the Club.”

Stewart is looking forward to this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony, where he will be giving a special opening address, and says it will be a touching tribute to those who fought and lost their lives in honour of their country.

“It’s an incredibly important day in which we gather to pay our respects to fallen servicemen and servicewomen who helped shaped the country for what it is today,” he said.

“This historic day is significant to not only servicemen and veterans, but to all Australians who are lucky to call this wonderful country home.

“We hope to see a large turnout this year of the back of last year’s terrific event, and look forward to honoring our servicemen and servicewomen, past and present.”

Nerang RSL Remembrance Day ceremony takes place on November 11, commencing at 10:30am at the Club.

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