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.”