I rise today to extend my gratitude to the Ballan RSL for allowing me the honour of laying a wreath at their 100th anniversary celebrations in Ballan.

The Returned and Services League was formed in 1916 to improve the welfare of returned service men and women through care, financial assistance, advocacy and commemoration.

Since their formation RSLs have made significant contributions to the social fabric of communities nationwide by ensuring the provision of proper support and recognition of the sacrifices of veterans and their families.

In 1919 Ballan formed their own RSL branch after the region saw 810 men and women serve in World War I. The branch had a brief closure during the Second World War, only to be re-formed and relaunched again in 1945.

The Ballan RSL president, Rick Campey, has done an exceptional job of resurrecting the branch from near extinction in 2016, with just nine active members, to its current 85-strong membership.

His efforts were rightly acknowledged and applauded at the celebration by Victorian RSL vice-president Des Callaghan, OAM, and the Moorabool shire mayor, Cr Paul Tatchell.

I thank the Ballan RSL for their ongoing support for those who served to keep us safe and those who continue to serve to keep us safe.

13 August 2019