Soldiers who returned from Gallipoli, with hopes & aspirations for the future, formed a Branch of the Returned Soldiers’ Association in Bendigo on 23 December 1915. The first office of the new branch was established at No 9 Commonwealth Chambers, Charing Cross in January 1916. The first official meeting of the new branch took place on 27 January 1916, and the first elections were held on 3 February 1916.
The Bendigo branch was the first to be formed in Victoria outside of Melbourne. The Bendigo, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat RSL Cooperative Society Ltd was formed in 1977 as a joint venture between Bendigo, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat Sub-Branches of the RSL. Licensed club facilities were built in Havilah Road and were opened in December 1979 and the Bendigo District Servicemen’s Club was formed to operate the Club.
In 2000, Bendigo RSL was asked by ANZAC House to take over the operations of the Servicemen’s Club and the assets and liabilities of the Cooperative. On 1 January 2001, Bendigo RSL Sub-Branch became Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc. in recognition of this changed role.
A Branch of Returned Soldiers’ Association formed in Bendigo
First record of an office at No 9 Commonwealth Chambers, Charing Cross
Social and meeting facilities established in the YMCA Building, High Street
First ANZAC Day Service held in Bendigo
First RSL Vic State Conference
RSL Australia sanctioned Bendigo District RSL Sub Branch birthday
Bendigo City Council invited designs and estimates for the Interim Honor Roll
Eaglehawk War Memorial unveiled
First recorded ANZAC Day Dawn Service held in Bendigo
RSL Museum began operations in the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute
Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc. formed
Bendigo RSL office moved to Havilah Road
Bendigo Military Museum closed to the public for redevelopment
Museum officially re-opened
To be the single point of contact for all veterans and their dependents that provides best practice services and support, and is financially sustainable.
To support the physical and mental wellbeing of our veterans and their dependents, and to commemorate current and past service personnel.
The BDRSL has developed five goals to enable the BDRSL to achieve its mission.
Goal 1 – Support all current serving personnel, veterans and their dependents with the available resources of the BDRSL
Goal 2 – Commemorate the commitment and sacrifice of all Australians and partners who have served in the armed forces
Goal 3 – Operate & maintain a corporately responsible business model to ensure the ongoing economic and social wellbeing of the BDRSL
Goal 4 – Increase engagement with veterans through ongoing health & Wellbeing activities
Goal 5 – Developing our people
These core values from the foundation in which the BDRSL performs work and conducts itself, they are:
MATESHIP – to support each other and to simply be there to listen
RESPECT – for ourselves, to our families, to our community and to our nation
RECOGNITION – of service, and sacrifice of our past and current veterans and their families
INCLUSIVE AND SUPPORTIVE – of all veterans, members and the community
TRANSPARENT – to be open and honest and act with integrity in all our dealings
EDUCATE – the community on the legacy of those who have served in the ADF