RSL Vic State Executive suffers a collapse in confidence


Glen Ferrarotto’s resignation from RSL Victoria’s State Executive is a concerning sign that the current board is fractured and failing.


What is worse is that the board seems hell-bent on locking in a decision to sell RSL Vasey Care, despite the concerns and fears expressed by its residents and their families. There is also reason to conclude that the board most likely has plans to make it impossible for RSL Victoria to decouple itself from Tabcorp.


Ferrarotto was important to the board because he was a respected and unifying link between the various interests at play. He is also an accomplished businessman with a well developed commercial instinct. He knows how to make a good business out of helping people.


With the State Executive election just around the corner, and with the winds of change howling in board members’ ears, the right and prudent thing would be for them to go into caretaker mode. After all, board members have a fiduciary responsibility to the organisation and its members.


If the members of RSL Victoria’s State Executive have any sense of that responsibility and what’s going on around them, they would slow down a bit and prepare for a possible transition.


A key failing of the current board and its administration is the complete absence of an identifiable strategy. There is no evidence whatsoever that RSL Victoria is running to a strategic plan.


The proposed sale of RSL Vasey Care is case-in-point. RSL Victoria is prepared to use its influence over the ostensibly independent board of RSL Vasey Care to breach a moral duty in order to collect some cash to be redirected elsewhere, although where exactly has not yet been revealed.


Fortunately, Glen Ferrarotto is still standing for the presidency at next month’s election, and I hope he gets it.


RSL Victoria desperately needs to change. The sort of change that can only be driven by someone with a real zeal for getting things done, without losing sight of members’ interests and wellbeing.


The organisation needs someone who is not only commercially savvy, but also respected enough to foster some semblance of harmony. The sort of thing that’s needed can only come from a self-starter, it cannot be extracted from a career in middle-management.


The problem is that RSL members do not have a direct say in the election. Instead, they are reliant on the votes cast on their behalf by sub-branch representatives, many of whom would be very cosy within the confines of the current “democracy”.


There is an energy for change within the ranks and the forthcoming election is a fleeting opportunity for a much-needed change in direction.


We can only pray that sub-branches are listening and will do what is right for the future of RSL Victoria. Today’s veterans deserve no less.

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