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From the National President's Desk - October 2020

From the National President’s Desk – October 2020

Air Force Association Foundation

In my September 2020 newsletter, I mentioned the National Board (AFA Ltd) was to discuss the establishment of a national charitable foundation. On September 29th, the Board agreed in-principle to establish an Air Force Association Foundation. In anticipation of its establishment, the business name Air Force Association Foundation has been registered.

You may ask why should the Association raise a national foundation when Veterans and their families have the same level of access as the public to government support services and charities whilst serving and following separation. Often a veteran or family need falls outside available Defence and general community services.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare accepts that a targeted and tailored response is the most effective approach to satisfying a Veteran’s health and welfare needs. The Board envisages that support may include financial support and payments for the provision of services. Therefore, the Foundation would initially fund support services to meet the specific needs of former and serving Air Force Veterans and their families in necessitous circumstances, there being no other option available.

The Association’s State/Territory Divisions vary considerably in their capacity to respond effectively to veterans and families in need. Their financial state and available human resources differ greatly. The Foundation could ensure all Air Force veterans and their families, and Association members in need of support would receive assistance regardless of where they reside. The Air Force Association has first-hand experience of real world gaps in support for Air Force veterans and their families.

The Foundation would have several funding streams and endeavour to obtain Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status that would make philanthropic and fund raising programs more attractive to donors. It would not be funded in any way be a levy on membership.

Looking the same

The Joint Boards Steering Group and the National Board met jointly on October 13th to discuss the former’s recommendation for common Objects, eligibility for membership, and classes of membership for the Association’s Divisions.

The National Board agreed on the following Objects:
– Advocate for and support the wellbeing and interests of members of the Air Force Family and veterans, including those in necessitous circumstances.
– Support the Air Force, its history, heritage, and traditions.
– Honour the life, service, and memory of Air Force members.

The National Board agreed to the position that any adult member who supported the Objects of the Association would be eligible for membership. Similarly, any person between the ages of 8 and 18 years would be eligible for membership where a ‘junior’ membership was available.

Classes of membership accepted, noting that ‘grandfathering’ of redundant classes of membership would need to apply, were:
– Ordinary
– Life
– Service
– Corporate
– Honorary
– Associate
– Junior (optional)

Division Presidents will socialise the agreed changes with their Division membership who will need to endorse them as Constitutional Changes to their State/Territory Division Constitution. These seminal agreements represent a willingness to work collaboratively and unity.

 

Carl Schiller, OAM, CSM, National President Air Force Association
October 2020

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