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National Vice President Candidate

Janet Castell, MNZM

Why do you want to be National Vice President of the RNZRSA? 

First and foremost I am standing because I believe in some respects we have lost our way. We have allowed individual personalities and egos to become the focus of attention, rather than the greater good that is achieved when we focus on our three strategic pillars Advocacy, Remembrance, and Support.

The RSA is well known for our Remembrance, now is the time to focus on Advocacy and Support. I have made no secret that my passion is to ensure all retired and serving military personnel receive the support they are entitled to, whether it be from Veterans’ Affairs, NZDF, other government agencies and local RSA’s.

My passion is based on my firm belief that “service” is still my duty, and that responsibility goes beyond retirement from the NZDF.

Through my years of association with the RSA, I have served in a variety of appointments, this has given me a unique opportunity to develop critical insights into how we can refocus on supporting veterans and their families and I believe this can best be achieved by becoming one of the National Vice Presidents.

If you are elected, what do you think the most important aspect of your role would be?

The most important aspect of the role of both Vice Presidents is to assist and support the National President in creating a positive environment that works collaboratively with the Board and President’s forum.

I’m looking forward to working with people whose views for the future of the RSA compliment my own so that as a team we ensure our strategic vision is not solely focused on our past, but is also inclusive and engaging to become more relevant to future generations of veterans.

For many years the RSA has struggled to engage our younger generation of veterans beyond ANZAC Day as most are not interested in joining a local RSA. To achieve this, we need a change in mindset, we need to develop strategies, and engage with other like-minded veteran support groups that already strike a chord with them. I believe advocacy and support based strategies are the best way to do so.

How do you think the RNZRSA can best position itself to support the next generation of veterans?

My vision for the RSA, is to work cohesively on getting our support services right, position itself to support the next generation of veterans, and is reflective of the organisation that inspired the returning men in 1916.

To achieve this and build their trust and confidence, I believe the RSA needs to develop strategies based on advocacy and support in order to de-bunk the myth that we are all about pokies and drinking.

Advocacy.

I am keenly aware of the inequities of the Veterans Support Act 2014. I am dedicated to ensure ALL veterans and their families receive some form support from the Government in recognition of their service. This includes reviewing domestic based operations for Qualifying Operational Service.

Support.

I am an avid supporter of the concept of RSAs without borders which allows for the expenditure of individual RSA Poppy Funds to support eligible individuals or their families in need regardless of location.

Working as part of a small team, we have developed a robust training package for our Support Advisors. This ensures our Support Network has trained Advisors who are able to assist and support our veterans’, their families, and each other as required.

 

To learn more about Janet read her biography here.