Hundreds of people gathered at Currumbin RSL this morning to celebrate the club’s incredible achievements over its 70-year history.
From humble roots, literally running chook raffles at the local School of Arts building, Currumbin RSL has grown immensely. Now boasting more than 25,000 members and the most incredible list of community programs, there’s no doubt it’s an important driver to the sustainability and development of the Southern Gold Coast.
President Ron Workman welcomed guests and spoke about the 70th anniversary being a triumph that celebrates “unity of purpose and unity of effort.”
And as the morning progressed and team members were introduced, there’s no doubt Currumbin RSL have found a unique balance between delivering serious community outcomes, creating a fair and exciting workplace and continuing to invest in all manner of community programs while honouring their primary purpose of supporting veterans in the community.
“We are proud to be an integral part of this community,” Ron told the crowd, adding that the growth of the Southern Gold Coast could be attributed to most people in the room and that it was “the best part of the Gold Coast.”
For those who haven’t stopped to think about the activities Currumbin RSL are involved in, how’s this for a jaw-dropping list.
There’s a seniors program that targets isolated people in the community, providing social activities for more than 380 members. They run the Dune Café as well as a catering company. They provide cash and inkind support for major events such as Bleach* Festival, SWELL Sculputre Festival and Buskers by the Creek, they’ve taken over the Soundlounge, providing live, local, original music to a growing audience of gig goers.
But there’s more. They provide welfare services to veterans, providing thousands of hospital and home visits, employing a part-time psychologist and managing several memorial events like the massive ANZAC Day dawn service, through the year. Some of those veterans’ services are literally saving lives.
They’ve provided more than $5 million cash and $647,000 inkind to community projects over the past five years. They run a training company which provides skills and employment training to young people focusing on hospitality and tourism. They supported the redevelopment of Parlm Beach Parklands and run pop-up museums.
And to top it all off, they put their money where their mouth is. The breakfast function which celebrated the 70th anniversary focused on local produce with an entire breakfast (bar the salt, pepper, butter and milk) being sourced within 150km of the Gold Coast.
Kerry Shephard, Community Relationships Manager spoke more about the Club’s practical sustainability projects.
“We have a glass bottle crusher alone that reduces recycling bins by 30 a week,” Kerry said, adding that children from Mudgeeraba Special School come weekly to crush plastic bottles.
We have a biobin, in our suite of green initiatives –100% of organic waste goes into the biobin. It gets lifted to Yatala where it cooks a bit further and gets turned into compost that you or I would buy from Bunnings
“We have a biobin, in our suite of green initiatives –100% of organic waste goes into the biobin. It gets lifted to Yatala where it cooks a bit further and gets turned into compost that you or I would buy from Bunnings,” Kerry said.
“It’s been an amazing task to get that to work but our staff – the champions of the biobins – have stuck to it. It’s the people element that lwill et you down. You have to stick with education of staff members, championing projects, to make them work, and that’s exactly what’s happened.”
And that’s still not all. The Club has a 25kW solar system on the Dune Café and have planted all their gardens up with herbs aiming to be completely self sufficient with herbs.
“Our gardeners work closely with the chef working out what she wants,” Kerry said. “Our gardener is a member of the seniors’ community and volunteers his time – he doesn’t have a garden at home.”
There’s a 90,000L rainwater tank on site which looks after toilet flushing and maintenance around the site. They run sustainability tours for schools and other groups and they’ve recently introduced biodegradable straws which can be composted.
There are two native beehives on site and they’re about to add a FLOWhive which will produce 10 litres of honey per month in partnership with volunteer beekeepers from the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Association.
And finally, Currumbin RSL has joined other Currumbin Creek businesses to work on projects which get people out and about in the precinct with an initiative called Up The Creek. Other committee members include Dust Temple, Balter Brewing, Neumann Group and Bleach*.
Happy 70th anniversary Currumbin RSL, the southern Gold Coast is most certainly richer for your ongoing commitment to people, planet and place.