RSL Leadership Scandal Billjim Solution

RSL Leadership Scandal Billjim Solution 

In the wake of the National RSL President Rod White and former NSW RSL President Don Rowe scandal, will the new leadership promote the Billjim Song Karaoke Mateship Nationwide Knockout Competition to all their branches as the perfect way to clearly show that the RSL is taking concrete steps to be in touch with modern Australia.

For years we have been trying in vain to get RSL Presidents (see Don Rowe’s ‘2008 reply letter) to recognize that ‘1918 era Billjim mateship can achieve that objective. Now we know why we got no where. Corruption and arrogance. Stuck in the old ways. Refusal to change.

SMH reports that “NSW branches hold more than $200 million in cash” while “forty-one serving and former military personnel suicided in the first eight months of the year”.

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The Comp

The idea is to make the spirit of the Australian soldiers, 100 years ago affectionately known to the Australian public as Billjim (the Anzac term came later) relevant and interesting to the modern generation. There’s this ditty of the era that Pete’s turned into a karaoke song. It’s about covering for your mate – “one who’ll plug for two”.

It could work like this:
• Start out with a weekly RSL Billjim Song Karaoke Competition Night – eventually this becomes part of the National Knockout Competition with Annual Finals Event.
• Club patrons buy tickets in the entertainment area to have a crack at singing the song.
• The assigned music makes it fun because the pace picks up like a race to the finish line.
• They substitute their best mate’s name in the last stanza e.g.
Phuong, there’s one who’ll plug for two—
It is Ayesha!
• They upload their own performance to the internet with the hashtag #RSLBilljimSongComp with their mobile phone to garner more attention for the club.
• The best performance of the night voted by other patrons gets a prize.
• The winner of each week gets invited to the local Annual RSL Billjim Song Karaoke Finals Event. So all their friends would be buying tickets to the big night. Ticket price would include dinner etc.
• The local grand champion gets an engraved trophy and special prize.
• Once the competition grows nationally, the local winner will progress in the Knockout Competition.

The night is not just about karaoke fun.
Patrons are encouraged to first give the background story about covering for a mate leading into their rendition of the Billjim song with the relevant names substituted at the end.
Could be their own experience, or someone else’s, even one that come from family history.
Ideally they could upload the story with images to social media and use the hashtag #RSLBilljimSongComp
So it could be something that was already uploaded to say Youtube.
Then all the patrons get to watch it together on a big screen. Followed by Q&A.
All the news, stories and links would be posted to a special page on the club’s website.

Club staff would of course have input on the best way to set things up.
Indeed, each night should start with a staff member sharing how they plugged for a colleague during the last week. That will get new patrons going on how it all works.

Local Schools – RSL BIlljim Rewards Card
Obviously, critical to longevity of clubs is increasing connection to the local community.
The best way to do that is through local schools – parents and teachers that you want to come along.
And of course the kids who we want to grow up knowing about the clubs’s positive contributions so that they naturally become members following their parents.
So we would work with local principals to get schools involved in the competition.
Students would upload their presentation video and best performance voted by peers would get a prize donated by the club.
And as for clubs patrons above, could oneday progress in the Knockout Comp.

Then at the local Annual Finals Event there would recognition of the schools providing the most support with cash awards presented to Principals by the club.
Support would be based on ‘Patron Analytics’ – from their swiped RSL Billjim Rewards Card (like those used in Woolworths; they would also earn points for referring new members – bonus points if the new  member is connected to a school as a teacher or parent).
Principals will quickly see that the more teachers and parents support the club through swiping their card the more money the school gets.

Now, who are the fair dinkum clubs with Billjim type presidents and managers who want to clearly show that the RSL is taking concrete steps to be in touch with modern Australia? And who are the Rod White-Don Rowe type presidents and managers?

Peter Hogan
australiansofarabia@gmail.com

We are already out there:
Maj. Gen. Peter Phillips AO MC (Retd) – then National President of the RSL
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch about her husband Keith Murdoch‘s Gallipoli letter
Work Officially Archived by National Library

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