From the Murray River to Vietnam
When Uncle Graham Atkinson’s number was drawn in the national draft for the Vietnam War, he stepped up without hesitation. Of course, he didn’t have to.
Hands-on history at Terang RSL
In a corrugated iron building close to the main street is the Terang RSL Sub-Branch. Though the building may appear unassuming, a difficult-to-miss attraction within its grounds draws attention from far and wide to this remarkable rural Sub-Branch.
Essential Allies: The History of the Wartime Homing Pigeon
Today, pigeons get a bad rap, often referred to as ‘rats with wings’. There was once a time when the humble pigeon performed a vital role as a military messenger, trained to communicate intelligence to and from the frontlines.
Generations of service continues with Nadia
Nadia Al Lahham has always craved a career that would give her the opportunity to give back to the community. She’s found that with the Australian Defence Force.
I was only 19: An unofficial national anthem
“Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunal”; These are the opening words to John Schumann’s I Was Only 19, a song that means so much to many. In a Mufti exclusive, John chats about the inspiration behind this ‘unofficial national anthem’ and how this song has changed his life.
Nine times through hell and back
Corporal Hugh Hince, walked the Kokoda Track nine times during his WWII service with the 1st Australian War Graves Maintenance Unit. Nine times through one of the most gruelling theatres of war, searching for and retrieving the remains of soldiers lost on the frontline. His is a story of resilience and faith.
Mental toughness and its role in our successes
Francine Dudfield has scaled cliff-faces, traversed through caves and provided life-saving support in her role as an Army Medic. Her physical strength is undeniable, but the real key to her success is in her mental stamina.
Sub-Branch's touching acts for veteran during dying days
The family of a veteran has come forward to thank the RSL for giving their relative dignity in his dying days.
Vietnam veteran's 'life of service' honoured
It has been 40 years since Viet Long Nguyen came to Australia as a political refugee, after enduring years of adversity in his fight for freedom. Since arriving in Melbourne, Long has made an indelible difference in the lives of many.
'Surreal': Veteran's rise to sporting stardom
The last five years of Lenny Redrose’s life have been a blur of "surreal” events, from sustaining a spinal cord injury and descending into a deep drug addiction, to emerging as a competitive athlete on the world’s stage.
Australians buried in Serbia honoured in ANZAC Day ceremony
This ANZAC Day, 25 April, a special ceremony was held at the British War Cemetery section of the New Cemetery in Belgrade, Serbia. In attendance were the descendants of Australians who served in Serbia during the First World War.
The Unsung Heroes of Remembrance
This year, Australians will commemorate more than 80 years since some of the biggest battles and most tragic events from the Pacific war. But there is a story missing from the narrative on Australia’s wartime experience in the Pacific.
The strengthening and Protecting Veteran Family Relationships is a new research study looking at programs or services that aim to strengthen relationships where one (or both) partners are current or ex-serving Australian Defence Force members. Corina Carli is one veteran welcoming the study.
It takes two
Dan and Melissa are partners in life, now the duo are also lending their passion to the Wonthaggi RSL Sub-Branch.
As an Indigenous Liaison Officer, Micheal Naawi is now part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s efforts to strengthen understanding and career pathways with First Nations communities.
Preserving Legacy, Preserving History – The War Records of Alan Clark
The Werribee RSL Sub-Branch is the custodian of something precious, the war records of WWII Veteran Alan Clark. Now with the help of the Wyndham City Council, the Sub-Branch is able to share Alan’s records with more people than ever before. Preserving a vital part of Victorian wartime history.
Forgotten veteran recognised
Approximately 150 individuals have requested that their names be suppressed from the Vietnam Nominal Roll. There is no public record of their service, and many remain unrecognised today. Until recently, Peter Richardson was one of these veterans, but with the help of this local RSL, the Melton RSL Sub-Branch, Pete’s service has now come to light.
The Road is Long, But It is Walked Together: RSL and The Rochester Flood
Often in times of crisis, the human spirit shines brightest. Such was the case in the Northern Victorian town of Rochester when, in October 2022, it suffered the worst of the state's catastrophic flooding event.
They are the very definition of “Serving Still” - people who not only have ties to the Australian Defence Force, but now occupy the essential role of First Responder in their communities. Meet two extraordinary individuals, driven to continue assisting Australians through their work in the emergency services and, in the process, finding immense reward and personal fulfillment.
Our Serving Nurses
As the sole survivor of the 1942 Banka Island massacre whilst serving with the Australian Army Nursing Service, Vivian Bullwinkel undoubtedly had a life of harrowing stories and experiences. In honour of all the nurses, we bring you the story of current serving nurse, Major Dianne Hutchinson.
Korea 70 Years On
Only five years after the end of the Second World War, Australia became involved in the Korean War. Often called the “Forgotten War” because it was largely overshadowed by WWII and Vietnam, the Korean War would involve personnel from all three service arms who would serve from 1950-1953 in defence of South Korea.
Still Serving: Veteran's journey from army to RFDS
To and from the furthest and most remote corners of Australia’s vast landscape, the iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service provides lifesaving services. The RFDS is proud that many of those are current or ex-serving defence personnel, who bring a unique skillset to their role in the organisation.
The journey to becoming a WWII spy
Service at Monterey base in Albert Park during World War II was top secret. Now at 96 years old, veteran Jocelyn Kelso is ready to tell her story of service.
Meet the leading ladies of our Sub-Branches
A record number of Victorian RSL Sub-Branches have female Presidents. Meet two of this cohort; President of the Hampton RSL Sub-Branch Helen Ward and President of the Healesville RSL Sub-Branch Colette Shaw.
'More salt and pepper in the room'
Growing up in Ecuador and New York City, a career in the Royal Australian Air Force was far from Ivan Benitez-Aguirre’s mind. The now Wing Commander shares his story exclusively with Mufti.
60th Anniversary of the Vietnam War
Veterans Jim Dewar and Rob Edgell are part of a dedicated group working to educate the next generation about Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. On the 60th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in the war, Jim and Rob share their story with Mufti.
New Leadership at RSL Victoria
With perhaps more information than we’ve ever had before about the veteran community thanks to the latest census, and the ongoing Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, RSL Victoria’s new CEO Sue Cattermole looks forward to leading RSL Victoria and honing its services to meet the needs of veterans and their families.
Keeping The Peace
Major Michael Lee has just returned from a peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. His service is part of a proud, 75-year legacy of Australian involvement in United Nations Peacekeeping operations.
Controlling Your Outcome
As he cried into his father’s arms, Joel Sardi never really understood the true meaning behind “we will get through it”. In the weeks and years after a catastrophic accident rendered him paralysed, he couldn’t fathom what life would look like — until he found happiness again.
Anguish Alleviators: The Science Behind Assistance Dogs
It has long been said that dogs are man’s best friend. Assistance dogs like Lola, show that friendship can be life-changing.
The Vivian Bullwinkel memorial
The legacy of Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel AO, MBE, ARRC, ED will live on through a new memorial
A life of service
What is life like for members of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, and Royal Australian Air Force today? Meet Jackson, Alisha and Ben, three young service people keen to tell their story.
RSL Victoria’s new Veteran Employment Program
A new, holistic approach to the career journey for veterans is being offered through the RSL Victoria Veterans’ Employment Program (VEP).
Our Greatest Comeback
How have Victoria’s RSL Sub-Branches coped over the past two years, and what are they doing now as we start to live with ‘COVID normal?’
Quilts of Valour
Helen Comport is a mother. A mother of a son who was wounded while serving overseas in 2010. Few can understand the stress of that situation, but Helen was able to take some comfort in a beautiful patchwork quilt made by other mothers from far away, and placed on her son’s bed while he healed from his injuries. This patchwork quilt inspired Helen’s new mission…Quilts of Valour.
It’s a long way from Cardross in northwest Victoria to Singapore, but that’s where Vera Torney found herself in February 1942, facing a Japanese advance down the Malay peninsula.
Art from the Heart
For artist Kat Rae, art has always formed part of the solution when she sought to make sense of her own experiences, whether it was through creating works of her own, or immersing herself in the expressions of others. While it was her constant companion and her calling, it wasn’t her first career.
Eighty years after the Battle of Kokoda David Howell helped veteran George Cops return to the track.
A short history of the ANZAC biscuit
For more than 100 years the humble ANZAC biscuit has been a much-loved part of the Australian way of life, but do you know the story of how the ANZAC biscuit came to be?
Places of Pride
A national register aimed at collecting photographs of war memorials around Australia has been launched and the Australian War Memorial needs your help!
Life on the Line
Life on the Line is a podcast that tracks down Australian veterans and records their stories. From World War II to Afghanistan and Iraq, these are the stories of Australian men and women, each of whom put their life on the line for their country.
The Land Girls
After Japan entered WWII in December 1941, Australia was faced with an urgent problem - a desperate need to increase its armed forces and what that deployment of even more able-bodied men would mean for the ongoing needs of other important industries at home.
Just over 20 years ago, Munjed Al Muderis escaped the brutality of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Now, he shares his story of how he rebuilt his life in Australia, and how he’s helping injured soldiers and civilians to rebuild theirs.
From Germany to the Mallee
Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, England, is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the United Kingdom. Within it lies the remains of 446 Australians killed during both world wars including 95 from the Second World War. The story of one of those men, Private Eric Richard Schiele, begins in Germany, extends all the way to the Mallee in Victoria, and ends tragically in England during the Second World War.
Defence on the storm front
While the Australian Defence Force’s primary role is to defend and protect Australia, it also provides assistance through its capabilities and resources in times of natural disasters, as we have seen countless times.
Gardening for wellbeing
Gardens have long been a source of solace, particularly for people who have suffered trauma. Whether it’s sprouting seeds on your windowsill, tending to plants in your backyard, or perusing a public garden, there is something deeply satisfying about being connected to nature.
Could there be an important piece of Australian military history hiding in your garage?
The longest war
Gwen Cherne is an advocate, mother, and widow. In our exclusive interview, Gwen shares recollections from her time as an aid worker in Afghanistan, the story of how she met and fell in love with her husband, and an insight into her new found purpose of using her voice to advocate for veterans and their families.
RSL Advocacy Here For You
Lynne McCullagh is a changed woman. After 43 years of living day to day, her future is more secure than it’s ever been.
RSL Victoria's Poppy Appeal, 100 years of giving
For 100 years, Victorians have generously donated their time and money towards the annual RSL Poppy Appeal. And with the Appeal’s centennial anniversary this year, it’s an apt time to reflect on its evolution, ongoing relevance, importance, and the tireless efforts behind each Appeal.
Memories from the Kokoda trail
One of the last members of the legendary 39th Australian Infantry Battalion, WWII veteran Cec Driscoll’s story is both harrowing and humbling.
Anthony Moffitt, or Harry as he’s known, wears many hats – he is a Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment veteran, a registered psychologist, a human performance consultant, a father, husband, cricket tragic and now an author.
Celebrating 100 years of the RAAF
1921 saw the formation of the Australian Air Force (AAF), later known as the Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF). There are very few people around today who will remember Australia 100 years ago, when the country marked several milestones that shaped the life we enjoy now.
Love and the ‘Forgotten Army’
It’s been 75 years since Joan Sanders Majithia was formally discharged from the Women’s Royal Australian Navy Service, but despite the passage of time she has kept her war time secrets close to her chest.
A visit from the American First Lady
A visit from an American First Lady is an event to rival royalty, so when Eleanor Roosevelt touched down in Australia at the height of a war effort, it was a moment of history feverishly celebrated.