Executive Committee Members

10th March 2020

Executive and general committee members of the Warragul RSL Sub Branch elected for the current year are as follows:

Ben Vahland: President

Ben Vahland, Warragul RSL

I grew up in Wodonga in North East Victoria. I dreamt of being a Policeman but was to young for VicPol when I applied. So I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1997. After basic and technical training, I was posted to Sydney and joined HMAS Success in 1999. My first trip was to deploy was to S.E Asia and then to East Timor in September 1999. Where we assisted with onshore patrols, construction and clean up jobs around the Dili township. In 2002 I was posted to HMAS Cerberus as a Leading Seaman involved in technical training until I discharged in 2003.

I commenced training at the Victoria Police Academy in 2004. Following graduation I have had various postings including Detective roles at Dandenong CIU Narre Warren and Pakenham for 10 years. In 2016 I was promoted to Sergeant at Morwell a

I am married to Sarah and we have four Children between us.

I became involved in the need to support the Wellbeing and welfare of Veterans and First Responders and was founder of the Wellbeing Group now based at Warragul RSL, am one of the founders of the RSL Active Fitness and Mateship group for Veterans and First Responders.

Kylie Sage: Vice-President Welfare

Kylie Sage

I was born and raised in Warragul, attending Warragul Primary School, Marist-Sion College and Warragul Technical School.  I had always wanted to join the Navy, and after a long application period I was accepted as a Marine Technician, and in 1993 I joined HMAS Cerberus to begin my recruit and Engineer training. This branch had just been opened to females, so there were quite a few challenging/funny moments had.

On completion of my training, I was posted to FFG HMAS Canberra for the next 4 years. During that time I completed further training and was able to obtain my Welding/Fabricating trade and was promoted to Leading Seaman.  I was then posted to HMAS Stirling (land base), Leading Hand of the Fabrication shop, until I was seconded to Leeuwin Barracks Fremantle as part of Operation Safe Haven for the Kosovo and East Timorese displaced persons.

I left the Navy in 2000, and with John (my future husband, ex-Navy, and Telstra tech) we moved back to Warragul to raise our son Harry and to be with our family.  John and I joined the RSL 2yrs ago through RSL Active and there have been many changes since then. I believe in the work that we do, and the ability to help people get through some tough times, through the Wellness program, Fitness and social groups we run, to look after our Veterans and their families.  I learnt a lot last year as the Sub Branch Secretary thanks to some great support. This year our Appeals Officer, Noel Tucker (a wealth of knowledge) has been teaching me the ropes regarding ANZAC and Remembrance Day. Thanks to Noel, hopefully, I can keep up.

Mark Buttner, Warragul RSLMark Buttner: Vice-President Operations

Mark is retired (after working in weights and measures/trade measurement for 40 years) and enjoying the good life. Mark is married to Amanda and has two adult sons, one lives and works in Melbourne, the other lives in Warragul and works in Melbourne.

In 1980 Mark joined the Army Reserve at the Warragul Depot (3rd Communications Zone Recovery Company). In 1981 he was posted to the Officer Cadet Training Unit and in 1983 graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant (RAEME). During Marks Army career, he has had various postings, including 3 EME Services, 2/15 Field Artillery Regiment, 105 Field Workshop, 4/19 Prince of Wales's Light Horse Regiment, 4 Brigade Administrative Support Battalion, Army Personel Agency, 4 Combat Services Support Battalion (Commanding Officer), Land Warfare Development Centre, Australian Army Cadets and various professional development postings. Mark transferred to the inactive standby reserve in 2012 and discharged in 2019.

Bob Green, Warragul RSLBob Green: Vice-President Communications

Details SoonMilitary Service – Australian Regular Army 1970-1972. Service in South Vietnam with 3rd and 4th Infantry Battalions Royal Australian Regiment.

General Insurance [various marketing, technical and management roles] for 30 years prior to retirement in 2012. Resided at Warragul South since 2001.

Married to Jackie [nee Bunker] for 48 years. We have two daughters and four grandchildren (all Warragul residents).

I am one of the founders of the Veterans Fitness and Mateship Group program operating under the RSL Active banner.

I believe the RSL is the constant, it is the Ex Service Organisation [ESO] that has been around a long time and it will be around well into the future supporting Veterans/Families. I have agreed to be part of the new Warragul RSL Executive for 2-3 years so as to help identify and attract others that will give of their time to help deliver the outcomes necessary for the continued growth and the capability to provide welfare support whilst ensuring the viability of our Sub Branch.

I also believe that our long term success will benefit from an increase in support for and appreciation of all of our Affiliate Members, many of whom have played active roles in keeping the Sub Branch going for years. I also see the acknowledgement of and support for Affiliate Members who are First Responders [Police/Ambo/CFA/SES] as being beneficial to our future growth and capability.

Lynn Mizen: Vice-President Governance

Details soon.

David HarrisonDavid Harrison: Secretary

Born in the United Kingdom, David resided in south-east England before emigrating to Victoria in 2007. David joined Victoria Police in 2010 and rose through the ranks from Senior Constable and Detective to his current rank of Sergeant at Morwell.

Together with his three daughters, Sky, Kayla and Ava, David has been a member and active supporter of the Warragul RSL since 2019. David is also a member of Voyage Gym Warragul and general fitness enthusiast, a keen advocate for RSL Active.

Gerardine Crew: Treasurer

Details soon.

Peter Parish: Membership Officer

Peter ParishPeter Parish was born and raised in West Bromwich, U.K. I qualified as a medical scientist in the U.K. then migrated to Australia in 1977, arriving in Warragul with my wife Sue, and our two young boys. I took up a position as Pathologist at West Gippsland Hospital. My parents followed us from England three years later.

I retired from Pathology in July 2012. My father, Freddie was in the Royal Marines in Great Britain in WWII, involved in North Africa, Sicily and the D-Day landings. He was discharged in 1946 achieving the rank of Captain. My mother Joan spent three years as a telephone operator in the ARP (Air Raid Precautions). My wife Sue passed away in 1996, leaving me to her best friend, Phyll. We were married in 1999. With Phyll’s influence, I became involved with the Warragul RSL.



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