Three RSL members have been honoured at an award ceremony at ANZAC House.
Gaylene Duncan, Dal Crocker and Peter Smith OAM received Life Membership with Gold Badge.
It’s a personal award from the State President of the day to show appreciation to members for their exceptional service.
Gaylene has been a member of The Returned & Servicewomen’s Sub-Branch since 1991. She was President from 2011-2020, has undertaken both the Appeals and Membership Officer roles and has also been the Acting Secretary and Treasurer.
In 2008, Gaylene was invited to join the State Branch Tribunal on which she still sits.
RSL State President Dr Robert Webster OAM said, “Gaylene has given exemplary service to the RSL in Victoria.”
The second award recipient of the day was Dal Crocker. Dal joined the Sunshine RSL in 1982 and then transferred to Greensborough in 2001.
He’s been kept busy with several positions at the Sub-Branch, including long-time Vice President, board member, ANZAC and Remembrance Day Appeals as well as undertaking welfare work and hospital visitations.
Dal was elected to the State Executive in 2015 and retired in 2020. During that time, he was on the Finance and Audit Committees and was also Chair of both Member Services and Corporate Governance.
Dal, who is described as “embodying all the traits of someone who cares”, was awarded Life Membership in 2015 and became a Hall of Fame inductee in 2016.
“Thank you for all the work you do for the League and particularly for your strong commitment to the State Branch during your time on the State Executive,” says Dr Webster.
The last but by no means least award recipient, Peter Smith OAM, has become a well-known figure across the RSL Victoria network.
Pete, as he is commonly known, is a member of the Pascoe Vale Sub-Branch and joined the State Branch in 2008 following a distinguished career of 25 years in the Australian Army.
He is credited with, amongst many things, generating record results for annual Appeals, introducing the concept of Appeals Forums for Sub-Branches, and embracing change from traditional fundraising towards a more digital-based form.
“The strong rapport with Sub-Branches tells you how well thought of Peter is within the Network and the strong friendships he has forged with veterans who have touched his heart,” says Dr Webster.
Upon accepting his award, Pete said it’s an absolute honour.
He said his work is incredibly rewarding.
“It’s a great privilege to be meeting so many wonderful people that have served this country and who continue to serve other veterans right across the state. I get to meet so many people, men and women, who just give so generously of their time helping veterans and helping veterans’ families. It is truly very humbling and gives this work great relevance and purpose.”
Peter also took the time to acknowledge the great team that helps him to achieve his best.
“The amazing men and women who are working for RSL Victoria, whether they’re in frontline service delivery, operations, finance, administration, executive, my own fundraising team – you are all amazing, highly professional, absolutely dedicated and focused on your work and are incredibly supportive of the work we do.”