You won’t be the only one thinking and saying the same things.
Let’s address the ESO issue first. Agree.
ESOs need to act for the greater veteran good, not their own greater good which was very evident at the RSL ESO Summit this week. It was all about the RSL being the saviours of the veteran world and it is not. Nor is it going to form some higher body that collects fees from the rest of us to “herd us” and “represent us.”.
If an organisation runs summits like that then they need to know what they are doing because few people work at the enterprise level of government and that is where you get the experience that was lacking at the summit. It has nothing to do with “helping ESO’s get grants”, “controlling funds” and so on which was the topics. It is everything to do with what is covered in the first two days of the $10,000 Australian Institute of Company Directors Course, and that is separating yourself from that day-to-day stuff which is the responsibility of a CEO down. The RSL in terms of some of its state and national elements could take a leaf out of subbranch experience and wisdom like that demonstrated by Adrian Sutter.
It is all about setting strategic direction and “herding” the 16 departments and 30 ministers to think about veteran needs because for example the people who write legislation, Attorney Generals, don’t care that our legislation is interrupted the same by every department so they don’t write it in a way that can be. They must change. That is where the senior “independent organisation” fits.
When we mentioned independent organisation at the summit this week it was put at the bottom of the priority list. This demonstrated RSLs lack of experience at this level. After the Commissioners came in, it was then at number 1. No ESO will be the peak body.
As for DVA, a fish rots from its head, and that is what we have had for the past three years while I have been in the veteran community. Now with new Secretary and to use the same analogy, a fish only gets better if prepared for future consumption and that is what we saw last night at Senate Estimates. When once some senior DVA members would turn up with coloured hair, be poorly dressed and disrespectful.
Last night was a well prepared and honest addressing of the issues. Leadership.
Do we see this yet? No. I do, but it is going to take time t filter down and now veterans are getting to sit in on decision making that was once the sole prevue of DVA staffers. We will see it as the DVA Stakeholder engagement strategy roles out, because as I understand it, staffers must become truly veteran centric or they can look to the door because it is that who make the changes needed.
More to follow on this subject, and whatyou saw by ESOs in your state in the past needs to be moved on out the door and replaced by people of like minds working together and for example large organisalions like the RSL that have many self managed bodies, need to think about modern best practice. A single company limited by guarantee. One that does not take away the identify of the sub brances, but where they all act with one voice after the discussion has been had.