Merimbula RSL Sub Branch ANZAC Day art competition winners.

Update: Monday 15 April 2024

ANZAC exhibition at RSL Club

The artistic talent of school students who entered the Merimbula RSL Sub Branch inaugural ANZAC art competition is on display at the Merimbula RSL Club.

The winning entries from the nine participating schools are on display in the club entry foyer. Competition organisers Sub Branch president Allan Browning, right, and member Phil Hall set up the exhibition.

The winners, selected by artists Sheri Barron, Louella McPaul and Louise Miller from Merimbula and District Arts Group, are:

Lara Carroll
The Time Line
EQUAL FIRST, Lumen Christi Catholic College

Jack Brideson
EQUAL FIRST, Towamba Public School

Mackenzie Baseler
FIRST, Wolumla Public School

Liam Grimwood
FIRST, Merimbula Public School

Christian Palmer
The Young Tired Soldier
SENIOR WINNER, Eden Marine High School

Nakeiley Aldridge
FIRST, Eden Public School

Isabella Ingram

Zaila Khan
JUNIOR WINNER, Pambula Public School

Kobi Hocking
FIRST, Wyndham Public School

Geoffrey Harvey
EQUAL FIRST, Towamba Public School

The exhibition is open until Saturday 11 May.

Inaugural Merimbula RSL Sub Branch ANZAC Day art competition.

Update: Friday 1 March 2024

Students impress with ANZAC Day art
Sapphire Coast school students have submitted more than 100 paintings into an inaugural Merimbula RSL Sub Branch ANZAC Day art competition.
The Sub Branch invited primary and secondary students to enter the ‘Students Impressions of ANZAC Day’ competition last year after reading about a similar event in Sydney.
The Sub Branch will exhibit the paintings in the Merimbula RSL Club Bowls Room on March 16 and 17 from 10am until late each day.
Sub Branch president Allan Browning and members Phil Hall and Shane Ellis have worked with nine schools to organise the competition.
Mr Hall said he was inspired to approach the schools after hearing student speeches at ANZAC Day memorial events.
“We are always impressed by how the local students put into words their thoughts and feelings about ANZAC Day but we thought art would give us an even bigger window into their feelings about ANZAC Day,” he said.
“Some of the paintings are just unbelievable. We are extremely impressed by the talent of our young people.”
Artists Sheri Barron, Louella McPaul and Louise Miller from Merimbula and District Arts Group are judging the competition.
The Sub Branch will announce the winners at a presentation dinner at the RSL on March 23, before putting the winning paintings on display in the RSL Club foyer two weeks before ANZAC Day. The exhibition of the winning paintings will continue for a month.
Eden artist Louella McPaul said they were impressed by the entries.
“The three of us are excited and honoured to be invited to judge such a special arts competition,” Mrs McPaul said. “We have some highly skilled young artists in this area and I encourage everyone to get along to see them when they are all on show in a few weeks.”
Students from Wolumla, Merimbula, Pambula, Wyndham, Towomba and Eden public schools have submitted entries. Eden Secondary College and Lumen Christi Catholic College have also entered.
Mr Hall said the Sub Branch would make it an annual event due to the level of interest.
“We are humbled by the support and enthusiasm for this competition and would like to extend a big thank you to all the schools and students who are involved,” he said.

Merimbula RSL Board welcomes new president

Update: Thursday 1 February 2024

Returned navy serviceman Phil Cheek is the new president of the Merimbula RSL Club Board.
The Board unanimously voted Mr Cheek in for the president’s position after Graeme Williams stepped down after 13 years in the role.
Mr Williams remains on the board as vice president and is also on the executive committee of the Merimbula RSL Club Sub Branch. The other Board members are Allan Browning, John Finn, Dave Rankin, Ian Powell and Hannah Rossi.
Mr Cheek moved to Merimbula in 2006 after 35 years in the navy. He joined the Board in 2012 as a way to give back to the RSL community.
“I had retired from the navy but I wanted to keep my mind active. What most interested me was in getting involved in the business side of the club,” he said.
“It is a rewarding role which has included time on the finance and catering committees and vice president for the past eight years.”
Mr Cheek said the sense of community within the Merimbula RSL Club ‘family’ is what makes him so passionate about being involved.
“We have a great club which is run very well. We have terrific staff and great premises – all of which are testament to current and past board members and the club’s secretary manager Michael Mutsch,” he said.
The Board plays a corporate governance role while supporting the work of the Merimbula RSL Sub Branch.
Mr Cheek paid tribute to Mr Williams, commending him for his steady and fair approach as president.
Mr Williams joined the board in October 1999. He was vice president for nine years from 2002-2010 before stepping into the president’s role in 2011. The club awarded him life membership in 2012.
Mr Cheek said Mr Williams has been at the helm during important milestones including two major extensions in 2003 and 2007, an extensive refurbishment in 2016 and the most recent renovation of the Ross Jones Sports Lounge and exterior.
“One of the projects the board is most proud of, which Graeme presided over, is the renovation of the Ross Jones Sports Lounge,” Mr Cheek said.
“Not only is this new area of immense benefit to our members and guests, it is also a tribute to one of the board’s long-serving members Ross Jones who was on the board with Graeme for many years.”
Mr Cheek said during his time as president, Mr Williams attended 175 out of 179 meetings. He didn’t miss one single meeting when he was vice president.
“Graeme has run the board as a consensus board and would always let everyone have their say. He always welcomed robust discussions until the decision was made.
“He also led the club through many challenging times including the proposed amalgamation with Club Sapphire, the 2019-20 summer bushfires and COVID.”
Merimbula RSL Sub Branch president and Board member Allan Browning said he first met Mr Williams when he came into his nursery to purchase a tomato plant. Their friendship continued when Mr Browning joined the board in 2010.
“Being of an accounting background, Graeme is very particular which is a great asset in his roles on the Board and the Sub Branch,” Mr Browning said.
“Graeme loves Merimbula and loves the Merimbula RSL Club. With the Sub Branch and the Board working closely together, he has made and continues to make a wonderful contribution to the RSL club family.”

MRSL presidents
New RSL Club Board president Phil Cheek with retiring president Graeme Williams in the newly-renovated Ross Jones Sports Lounge.

New sign-in requirements

Update: Thursday 1 February 2024


Dear Merimbula RSL Club Members,

We have changed the steps you need to take when you enter our club.

It is now a requirement for you to swipe your Members Card using our sign-in scanners as you enter.

We will not be issuing printed sign-in slips when you sign in.

We understand this will take some time to adjust but we thank you in advance for co-operating with this change.

What about Members points?
The entry scanners are not connected to our Gem Rewards program, so you will still need to swipe your Members Card at the kiosk each time you visit to earn your membership points.

What happens when we leave the club?
When you leave the club, you do not need to sign out.

We look forward to welcoming you soon!

New grants available from Merimbula RSL

Update: Monday 18 December 2023

New grants available from Merimbula RSL
Merimbula RSL Club is encouraging groups from across the Bega Valley to apply for Category 2 ClubGRANTS for community development projects, sport and events.

A new round of grants is now open for in-kind and cash donations. The application process is online and grants are open until August 31, 2024.

In 2023 the RSL Club distributed $95,846 in Category 2 grants to 48 different groups across the Bega Valley.

Recipients ranged from Cobargo & District Pony Club to Rocky Hall Community Association, Southern Women’s Group, Tathra Hospital Auxiliary, several men’s sheds and a large number of sporting clubs.

Funding also went to several events.

“This year we supported the Something Blue Wedding Fair, Merimbula Jazz Festival and Wintersun Festival which were all great events bringing visitors to our region. They also have longer-term flow-on effects with increased numbers of return visitors. We are proud to support the organisers who put in a lot of volunteer hours to make these events happen,” RSL secretary manager Michael Mutsch said.

“We also love supporting as many sporting clubs as possible from football to tennis, netball, cricket and basketball.”

Also among this year’s recipients were preschools and schools, visitor information centres, mountain bike clubs, social clubs and quilters.

Michael said although they were pleased with the number of applications in the previous round, he still believed many individuals and groups didn’t realise they could apply directly to the club for this funding.

The RSL Board assesses the applications at its monthly meetings.

“A lot of people know about Category 1 funding that the Bega Valley Shire coordinates in conjunction with all the clubs in the region, but not as many are aware there is other ClubGRANTS funding available where you apply directly to the club,” he said.

Michael said the board welcomed applications from smaller, outlying communities.
The scope of projects you can apply for is broad, as long as the funds stay in and benefit the Bega Valley Shire. People outside the shire can also apply.

“For example, we have funded Sydney-based organisation ‘Careflight’ because they were seeking funding to support the services they provide to families in the Bega Valley Shire.”

Last year ClubGRANTS has moved to an electronic application process. This was a big change for some of the smaller community groups who are used to applying by handwritten letter.

“Most people now have their online accounts set up, making it quite straightforward to apply,” he said.

“Once you have an account set up, you can keep track of what you’ve applied for and what you’ve received. This is particularly helpful for groups and committees who apply every year.”

Michael said the RSL had prepared simple instructions which are on the club’s website to help people set up their online account and submit their application.

Bega Valley Shire Council coordinates a separate ClubGrants program for Category 1 funding on behalf of all clubs in the shire. In 2023 the RSL donated $18,00 to Marine Rescue Merimbula through Category 1 ClubGRANTS coordinated by Bega Valley Shire Council. Marine Rescue used to grant to purchase a large, wall-mounted touch screen for briefings and skills development training.

End of release

ACM journalist Amandine Ahrens modelled at the 2023 Sapphire Coast Wedding Fair and Trail, which attracted 150 people from areas including Jindabyne, Nowra, Canberra, Bairnsdale and Ulladulla. The event has so far resulted in bookings for 10 destination weddings to the region. Picture by Daisy Hill Photography

25 Gifts of Christmas

Update: Monday 18 December 2023

If you were one of the many hundreds of people at the 25 Gifts of Christmas draw, then you would know that the Club was packed to the rafters! It was a joyous, fun-filled night with lots of happy prize winners.
Christmas hampers, meat trays, seafood trays, Christmas hampers, Woolies vouchers and the 25 electrical prizes in the major draw all found a new home !!
A big thank you to Merimbula Diggers ARFC for their seafood tray raffles, and to the RSL staff who worked hard late into the night!! Special thanks to Emma, Tracey and Michael for all the work they put into organising the draw.
We would also like to thank the Merimbula Sub Branch President and Board member Allan Browning for his prize calling and presentations.
Please enjoy our gallery of photos from the night and have a very Merry Christmas!

Renovations are now complete!

Update: Thursday 12 October 2023

The Merimbula RSL Club renovations are complete! The work involved the expansion and new fit out of the Ross Jones Sports Lounge which now boasts the biggest live sports screen on the Far South Coast.

The project also included a revamp of the bottle shop and a new foyer to welcome our members and guests. We also installed a new sprinkler system throughout the club.

Outside we repainted the building and did extensive repair work on the roof and exterior fittings, and installed new signage.

This was a collaborative project involving many local tradespeople and we are extremely proud of how it has all come together. Please have a look through our photo gallery and let us know what you think!