2019 Chief Executive Officers Report

July 6, 2020

For the year ending 31 December 2019

The past 12 months have been a time of change for the Club.  Change driven by market forces.  Change designed to achieve improved operational efficiency and an enhanced customer experience.  Change seeking diversification of the Club’s revenues and change directly driven by Member feedback.

These changes have seen the appointment of a new caterer, the creation of a new food and beverage area, Pickets, and the tabling of a Strategic Plan aimed at positioning the Club for long term, sustainable success.  We have also introduced breakfast every Saturday and Sunday, Yoga on the greens each Saturday and a variety of other community-focussed events.  Along the way we have strengthened our ties with the RSL sub-Branch and have undertaken planning that will further strengthen our links with the local community.   More change is inevitable as our Club grapples with the challenges presented by an ever-changing and highly competitive, hospitality sector, and balances out the sometimes competing, but always mutually reliant, ideals of ‘Community’ and ‘Profit’.

An improvement of over $700,000 year-on-year, for the financial year ending 31 December, is a good result but still not where the Club needs to be.  At the same time it can be seen to represent the success of the changes enacted thus far and a signpost to further improvement.  When viewed in conjunction with a strong Balance Sheet, solid cashflows and a strengthening of the Club’s Executive Management Team, there is reason for some optimism.

Sincere thanks to Club President, Bill Shields, Vice-President, Bill Hardman OAM, and the Board of Directors for their invaluable guidance and support during my first year as Chief Executive Officer.  We have been united in our desire to safeguard the future of the Club and, at times, this has meant making difficult and sometimes, unpopular decisions.  Through it all the Board has acted with integrity, transparency and objectivity.


At our core we are proudly linked to the RSL movement.  At our club this partnership has a foundation of mutual respect for the core values, beliefs and standards of both parties.  Our thanks go to Bob Lunnon, the sub-Branch President, and his diligent and encouraging Committee for the invaluable support they provide to the local community and licensed Club.


Also, thanks to the staff for their assistance and willingness to embrace the changes necessary to ensure our position in the hospitality industry.  With the customer at the centre of everything we do, it is vital that we have a focussed and well-trained workforce who fully understand their role in our quest for success.


Many thanks to our members and guests who have very much “voted with their feet” by visiting the club in increasing numbers and enjoying the food, beverage, entertainment and amenity on offer.  Please be assured that we have further improvements planned.

My enthusiasm for the job at hand is unabated. I remain totally focussed on positioning Forestville RSL Club to deliver another 60 years of success and service to the community and invite you all to be a part of our future.

See you at the Club!

Kind Regards

Ian Thomson

Chief Executive Officer


P.S. The above report was written some months ago in preparation for the planned, 2020 Annual General Meeting.  As we are all aware, in the time since then the Club and indeed the entire nation was thrown into turmoil when the Federal Government acted to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, a consequence of which was the forced closure of the Club on the 23rd March.

After ten weeks of no trading the Club re-opened on 1st June, with a number of strict, health and safety requirements imposed on our operational environment.  No-one is sure when this global crisis will end.  In the interim, we appreciate your support and understanding as we seek to provide a relaxing, friendly, and safe Club for all members and guests and, at the same time, ensure the Club’s financial stability.