The Ararat RSL Sub Branch was formed after the First World War. It received its first charter from the Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia (Victorian Branch) on April 6, 1919. In those early days the Sub Branch held its regular monthly meetings at the Ararat Mechanics Institute in Barkly Street, Ararat.
The Sub Branch continued to hold their meetings at this location until 1962 when the Sub Branch moved to a new location at 24 Queen Street, Ararat. These premises were a converted weatherboard house and the Sub Branch did a number of renovations to convert the premises into more comfortable clubrooms. In 1968 the Committee of the day undertook major renovations to the Queen Street building converting it into a more purpose-built Clubroom facility with kitchen, toilets and bar area together with a new meeting room. These Sub Branch premises were utilised right through until 1992 when the premises were again renovated.
As the Sub Branch continued to grow the Committee showed great vision by looking toward the purchasing of a site for new and bigger premises in the town in early 1995. By mid 1995 the Committee had purchased the current High Street site from the Victorian Railways Institute at a cost of $90,000 and the building works were commenced in October 1995. The Sub Branch then spent one million dollars on the new Clubrooms and they were officially opened by the then local member for Rippon, Steven Elder on May 2, 1996.
Since that time the Sub Branch has had a number of extensive additions and renovations with the last major building works being completed in March 2005 at the cost of 1.8 million dollars. RSL Ararat Sub Branch is now considered to be one of the premier Sub Branch operations in Victoria with a staff of 40 and over 3,000 members.
The RSL is Australia’s largest, most influential and effective ex-service organisation. The league provides its members with professional assistance in a range of matters including:
- DVA or MCRS entitlement claims
- Financial problems (conditions apply)
- Service records and medal entitlements
- VRB and AAT applications
- Bereavement support
- Funeral arrangements
As a member of the RSL, you will enjoy the privilege of having joined one of Australia’s oldest and most revered organisations. An organisation committed to selfless service on behalf of the nation. An organisation which is dedicated to honouring those who have served our nation through military service and which believes that the care of veterans and their dependants remains it’s core role.