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First female President for Bribie Island RSL Sub-branch

By Alistair Gray


Hearty congratulations must go to Carol Steley - the new local RSL Sub-branch president - as they welcome a new era following the retirement of longstanding president George Franklin.

Carol served in the RAAF for four years between 1975 and 1978 as an Accounting Machine Operator, well before computers.


She left the service to get married to her husband of 48 years, Wayne, who worked in stores in the office next door and to have a baby.


Carol has been with the Bribie Sub-branch for about four years and before that was with Springwood Tri-Services, where she was the treasurer and served as the membership officer. Before that, she was involved with Girl Guides for 27 years, working her way up to district leadership at Browns Plains - receiving a Centennial Medal for her outstanding work with children during this time.


Carol has a passion for working with children running two out-of-school services. She had 14 years of experience running a family day care and had a short time in banking. She ran the out-of-school program in West End, Brisbane, a big step in managing 15 staff. Here, she developed her management skills. She then moved to St Peter’s at Caboolture and helped them expand from working in a small area to a new complex. This is something she had also done during her time in West End.


I asked Carol what her plans are for the sub-branch.


“To support the Veterans more, to be there for them, to help them,” she said. “We are putting in extra effort when we have meet and greets with the boys, picking up those who can’t get on the bus and using a car for that. We are trying to get them to come to the sub-branch and get involved and give them the support where they need it.

“We have three welfare officers who particularly support the older ones. With more than 800 hundred members, it is about bringing them all together. It doesn’t matter whether you are from World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Afghan War or a Nasho; you are all veterans; you are all one.”


Carol and her husband Wayne have two grown-up children and two grandsons. Their son, who is blind, works in equestrian, working with kids who have problems at an autistic school and a daughter who works with people with disabilities and caring for people in that field. All are doing well and are a very caring family. As for interests, Carol loves quilting and sewing and you will find her up at the art centre on Wednesday mornings. I sense the sub-branch is in excellent hands with Carol and we wish her well in her new role.


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