Chief Executive Officers Annual Report for the year ending 31 December 2018

As the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer of Forestville RSL Club it falls to me to write a report that covers the 2018 Financial Year.

Having only commenced duties at the club on March 25, 2019 it would seem obvious then that any report I make is ‘at arm’s length’.  Of equal importance and something that I believe I am qualified to comment on will be the section of my report that covers the current and future state of the club.


The NSW Club industry experienced difficult trading conditions again in 2018 and Forestville RSL was no exception.  Generally, all clubs suffered from falling revenues across the all-important area of gaming and, as this sector is the most significant contributor to the club’s income stream, we consequently saw falling year-on-year financial results.  In the final analysis this amounted to a fall in total comprehensive income of over one million dollars between the 2017 and 2018 trading years.

It is worth noting that within this result the club incurred several ‘one-off’ expenses which contributed to this fall in annual profitability.  These expenses directly relate to costs incurred through the Medical Hub proposal, which the Board has now rejected, and the termination costs associated with the resignation of the club’s previous Chief Executive Officer.

In addition to falling gaming revenues, there are a number of other, immediate challenges facing the club.  One of those challenges relates to the growing competition for consumers’ entertainment and hospitality dollars.  A rapidly evolving business environment has seen clubs fall behind in this key area and as the supply of food and beverages is a key pillar for our club this matter will require serious consideration, planning and investment.

Similarly, I have always believed that another key focus for all clubs should be its engagement with their local communities.  In 2018 we contributed $222,478 in the form of cash and in-kind donations to a range of sporting, community and welfare groups. While you can justifiably feel proud of our efforts in this area we will be seeking to further extend our community footprint in 2019.


Our staff are our most important asset as they individually and collectively create the customer interface between the club and its members and guests.  In my short time here I’ve been impressed with the loyalty, enthusiasm and desire for success they have exhibited.  Thanks to all of the staff for their efforts over what was, at times, a difficult year and I look forward to being a part of the team that delivers an even better customer service experience in 2019.

As an RSL Club we quite rightly have great respect for the Returned Services League movement.  At Forestville the links between the Sub-branch and licensed club are very strong and are underpinned by mutual respect and consideration for one another.  That it is so, is a credit to President, Bob Lunnon, and his diligent and passionate team.  On behalf of all club members, many thanks for your on-going support.

As the new President, Mr Bill Shields, notes in his report, there has been a changing of the guard at a Board of Directors level 2018.  This has created a new, more diverse Board.  It also sees a range of new business skills, experience and energy added to the Board, all of which will be of great assistance moving forward.

Meeting the needs of our members and the wider community will be at the forefront of our thinking in positioning the club for future success and there are several exciting opportunities to be considered.     The Club’s Board and Management Team value member feedback and will seek your input and feedback in this area during the year ahead.

Finally, may I say how excited I am about the club’s future and how happy I am that the Board of Directors selected me to help guide the club towards a long term, sustainable business model that can support all stakeholders for many years to come.

Thank you for your continued patronage and I look forward to seeing at the club soon.

Kind Regards

Ian Thomson

Chief Executive Officer