Bombala is a town of approximately 1500 people. The Bombala RSL Club has 1,181 members, 95% of which are locals and only 16 poker machines.
Bombala, we believe is a typical bush town with all the advantages of a close knit and supportive community. Of course it shares the problems of other bush towns in that it is isolated and thus it has a limited tourist trade, remoteness adds significantly to freight and training costs and contributes to high local fuel and cost of living expenses. In addition Bombala has been the victim of protracted droughts and an aging population as younger people join the migration from rural areas to the bigger centres in search of increased job and education opportunities.
It is against this background that Bombala RSL Club acts as a significant rallying point for our community and typifies the spirit of the bush.
So how have we gone this year? Well we’re proud of it!
We have completed a major refurbishment of our auditorium for the first time since it was built in 1982. Hence, we now have an attractive and modern venue for a variety of events including local weddings, school formals, anniversaries and conferences. Total cost $80,000
What a success the construction of our outdoor area proved to be! Initially designated to be in response to the indoor smoking ban, with some imagination and careful planning it has opened up our club with natural light being introduced into our main bar area and providing a very pleasant vista over our bowling green. It has proved to be a very popular area with both our smoking and non-smoking members and has provoked very favourable comments from members and visitors alike. Total cost $240,000
A great initiative proved to be the purchase of a courtesy bus that has assisted members and the community in general. Not only does it assist us in our duty of care to our patrons, especially in a town without a taxi or public transport, it has been utilised far and wide. Our local schools have been provided with the use of our courtesy bus at no cost, thus assisting them in transporting their students to other regional areas for academic and sporting events, thereby expanding opportunities which may otherwise be unavailable to them. Senior citizens and other community groups have also benefited and we believe it was $35,000 well spent.
A burning issue nowadays - childcare, has also been addressed in this financial year by providing child minding facilities in the club on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Our previous financial position precluded this but it now enables parents to have an affordable and worry free night out at our club.
Budgeting success has also enabled us to create a new position of greenkeeper/maintenance man with our bowling greens and surrounds now being the envy of many surrounding clubs.
We are also extremely pleased with the increase in member promotions we have been able to offer in 07-08. Prizes have climbed dramatically, and the sheer joy and disbelief, of a lucky member winning $5,000 in a badge draw, is shared by all.
The Club is the largest benefactor in the town and this year we gave a total of $36,807 to sporting and charitable organisations. It is the major sponsor for numerous bodies including Bombala Rugby League Football Club, Bombala Touch Football Club, Bombala Show Society, Country Music Assoc., Bowling Club, Jockey Club, and Historical Engine and Machinery Society.
Due to the isolation of Bombala and its surrounding communities, we are fortunate to have the emergency facility of the Snowy Hydro South Care, a self contained helicopter serviced with medical staff who respond to our emergency requirements. This service has become an essential air link continuing to save lives in our community. With increasing costs and greater demand for this service, our Club recognises the valued service and has become a major financial contributor with the sum of $7000 being donated within the period.
Speaking of health care, Bombala RSL Club is also a great supporter of the Bombala District Hospital Auxiliary, with every cent raised from our continuing Thursday night raffles being donated to the auxiliary – a total of $7500, proceeds going toward vital medical equipment.
The Bombala RSL Club retains the goals and traditions of the RSL movement. It provides meeting facilities for the local Sub Branch, continues to observe the Ode and provides complimentary breakfast to those who attend the Dawn Service – this year 230 people presented to be fed by our early rising volunteer chefs.
Previously the Club’s motto was “Your Club, the place to be”, the Board of Directors felt that this did not reflect our vision and during the past year changed the logo to “Supporting our Community”. This is now prominent in all our advertising, in particular our courtesy bus.
How did all this happen?
Major projects funded, new positions created, a great charitable record and the club hasn’t borrowed any funds and is still in a sound financial position. We believe it is our community identity, sound financial management planning that is reflected in these figures:
2006/07 2007/08 Increases
Sponsorship/Donations $21,206.50 $36,807.00 $15,600.50
Raffles/Badge Draws/Promos $68,081.04 $97,895.26 $29,814.22
Financial Year profit $160,596 $168,803 $8,207.00
Mateship and bush spirit is alive and well at the Club–whether it be a show of hands to volunteer to move furniture for functions, give an aged person a hand to get about or even a couple of blokes to go and catch the yabbies for the yabby racing on Melbourne Cup Day!
We are proud of our Bombala RSL Club and its achievements under sometimes difficult circumstances. It provides the friendly and supportive atmosphere needed in the tough times and as the focus of our community life. Further, we believe our members are also justly proud of their local Club and feel confident of our future together.