Back To School For RSL

Anita Jaensch
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Delegates at this year’s State Congress got the first glimpse of RSL Queensland’s new education portal – RSL Education.

RSL Education has been developed as a comprehensive education tool for teachers and students from Prep to Year 12. Conceptualised and written by qualified education professionals, it aligns with the Queensland curriculum, providing reliable, accurate information and practical opportunities for school children to learn about Australia’s Defence history and current challenges facing our Defence family.

RSL Education has been developed as a comprehensive education tool for teachers and students from Prep to Year 12.RSL Education has been developed as a comprehensive education tool for teachers and students from Prep to Year 12.

“We’re a 100-year-old organisation founded by and made up of veterans, so we’re in a unique position to share information about past conflicts, how we commemorate service and sacrifice, and the challenges that face serving members, veterans and families today,” State Secretary Scott Denner said.

children would have had a direct family connection to the ADF through the service of a parent or grandparent, however, many children today are unaware of the realities of Defence service. This is where RSL Queensland can add an extra layer of understanding – linking classroom activities with lived experience through the thousands of veterans who are RSL members.”

RSL Education will provide students and teachers with engaging and age-appropriate videos, animations, slideshows and self-driven research projects that will bring the story of Australia’s Defence history to life. The first stage of the portal – to be launched publicly in term three – will focus on commemoration. Future modules will explore the impact Australia’s involvement in the conflicts of the past century has had on society, and on the health and wellbeing of those who have served in the Australian Defence Force.

The portal builds on the strong foundation of the Community Link program, which was used in more than 100 schools across Queensland. The transition to a modern, digitally delivered platform will make these educational resources accessible to all Queensland students, regardless of whether they live in a densely populated urban area or in a more remote community. It will also give smaller Sub Branches opportunities to connect with their local schools, without a costly financial outlay.

RSL Education facilitates connections between Sub Branches and schools by indicating where teachers and students might benefit from talking with their local RSL Sub Branch.

“RSL members have firsthand experience of the conflicts, peacekeeping operations and disaster relief operations Australia has been involved in. Talking with veterans gives students an opportunity to gain a far deeper understanding and appreciation of the human element of events that are otherwise just dates in history,” Scott said. “In this way, we hope to forge even closer ties between Sub Branches and their local schools.”

RSL Education has been shaped in consultation with RSL Queensland’s Innovation Network, which comprises RSL members drawn from all walks of life.

“Many members of our Innovation Network are themselves parents, so they’ve been able to provide valuable feedback that has helped refine the portal’s design and content,” Scott said.

Following the State Congress, the RSL Education engagement team will provide training and materials to Sub Branches to enable them to use the portal and introduce it to schools with confidence.

“State Branch will be giving it a big promotional push, but we hope Sub Branches will get behind this resource and promote it strongly to their local schools too,” Scott said.

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