By RSL Victoria State President Dr Robert Webster OAM

It is an enormous privilege to present our latest magazine, and I thank our writers, designers, printers, and delivery partners who have done an amazing job to produce and distribute the Mufti under the challenging circumstances of yet another Victorian lockdown.

Lockdown is very much a theme in this edition of Mufti. On page 22, in our story ‘preserving history’, you will find practical suggestions on what to do if you find an exciting piece of memorabilia during a lockdown clear out. ‘Sprouting Connections’ on page 28 may inspire you to get out into the garden and reconnect with yourself and nature. From Germany to the Mallee’ on page 36 is a heartbreaking story that may motivate many of you to begin researching your own family history and connections to service. Our travel features ‘Where the brolgas dance’ on page 38 and ‘Escape to Bruny Island’ on page 42 will fuel some lockdown daydreaming and help you plan your next domestic holiday.

In our feature story ‘The longest war’ beginning on page 8, we hear from widow, and Veteran Family Advocate Gwen Cherne, talking about her experience and the experience of her late husband, Peter Café, in Afghanistan. Gwen also touches on many of the topical issues in the veteran community right now, including the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. Many veterans within our RSL community have been impacted directly or indirectly by some of the issues raised in our feature story, and I want to take this opportunity to remind you all that RSL Victoria has services in place to provide support. To access RSL Victoria support, please contact RSL Victoria’s Veteran Central program via 1300 MILVET (1300 645 838) or email veteranservices@rslvic.com.au.

One way that RSL Victoria provides support to veterans is through our compensation advocacy program, and you can read more about this on page 14 in our story ‘RSL advocacy here for you’. Of course, RSL Victoria’s support services have always been a collaboration between the RSL and those who help support us by donating much-needed funds to the annual ANZAC and Poppy Appeals. Every dollar raised through the appeals is used to support veterans and their families. And in an absolute milestone, this year our Poppy Appeal fundraiser turns one hundred. You can read more about the centenary of the Poppy Appeal and the impact it has made in Victoria for many generations on page 18.

Bringing you this edition of Mufti has been a triumph for RSL Victoria, as last year we were unable to produce an October edition of the magazine due to the impact of COVID-19. This does not mean that we have not faced challenges in creating this magazine, and keen-eyed readers will notice that the traditional events page of the magazine is missing. The continued uncertainty surrounding the Victoria lockdown has prevented us from printing events as we normally would, and those looking for information on RSL events are encouraged to check the RSL Victoria website and Facebook page (@rslvic) for information on events and activities.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Mufti. As always, the team behind the Mufti would love to hear your feedback on the magazine (mufti@rslvic.com.au).

Dr Robert Webster
Dr Robert Webster OAM



Yours sincerely,

Dr Robert Webster OAM