Since its start in 1919 the Doncaster Returned and Services League (RSL) has supported people who have served or are serving in the Australian Defence Force.
The Doncaster RSL Sub-branch has served its local community for over one hundred years.
Among other things, the RSL helped create service, disability and war widow pensions, employment and retraining programs, child health programs and vocational guidance services. In many ways, the RSL was the first national welfare agency in Australia. Welfare continues to be its top priority today.
New club rooms
New club rooms were built on the corner of Doncaster Road and Leeds Street in 1953. A number of changes over the years have added to the venue’s symbolic importance. These changes include moving the WWI memorial wall in 1999 from the Athanaeum Hall and incorporating it into the WWII memorial, the addition of two wings to this memorial wall in 2001, the refurbishment of the front landscape in 2019, and the activation of the outdoor space behind the memorial wall in 2020.
There is also museum located at the Doncaster RSL Sub-branch which includes artefacts and books from the Boer War, WWI, WWII, the Korean and Vietnam wars, and East Timor conflict. The collection also features Honour boards, maps, photographs, reproduction paintings, newspapers, diaries, badges, medals, weapons, uniform embellishments, jackets and headgear.
Both outdoor areas received funding from the Victorian Government through the Victoria Remembers Grant Program. This was to help communities make personal connections with the Centenary of World War I, and assist projects or activities that commemorate other wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Victorians have served.
- Raise awareness of the contribution of Victorian veterans, past and present, through diverse, inclusive and educational projects and activities.
- Encourage direct participation and engagement, in learning more about past conflicts and the role of veterans.
- Provide social and cultural benefits to the community.
- Leave a legacy for future generations.
A red poppy light sculpture was installed behind the memorial wall in June 2020.
The five signage soundposts located in the garden behind the memorial wall (due for completion by June 2022) include information on the following themes:
- Doncaster RSL history.
- Nurses in combat zones.
- Vietnam Veterans stories and war.
- WWI and WWII.
- Indigenous service stories.