Alexandra-Clyde RSA president Debra Warburton
Q What does your new role involve?
The role of the RSA presidents is to ensure all veterans and their family members from the Alexandra-Clyde area are looked after and receive continued support from our RSA.
The veterans range from many theatres of war, including World War 2, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. We also provide support to any personnel that have served, or are currently serving in our Defence Force.
As our older veterans are slowly passing away we need to shift our focus to the contemporary veterans who may require support from our RSA.
We also encourage associate members to join and help support our RSA.
I am looking forward to continuing to raise our profile in the community and let people know we are here to help.
We also work closely with our welfare support officer in Dunedin, who can assist with claims through Veterans Affairs.
Support is one of the core pillars of the RSA movement.
Q What are you looking forward to about your role?
I became involved with the RSA about seven years ago.
I was working with an elderly ex-army soldier who nominated me for the executive committee.
He saw the need for “younger blood” to be on the committee to help the RSA continue well into the future.
We see many RSAs closing around the country, due to dwindling membership, and we certainly don’t want that to happen in our area.
Our membership continues to grow, so that is very positive.
Q Where did you serve and in what capacity?
I served in the Royal New Zealand Navy from the age of 17 to 22 years old, as a medic.
Although I did not serve overseas, I spent a lot of time travelling New Zealand and working in army and air force bases around the country.
I have recently rejoined the Defence Force as an army reservist combat medical technician.
Q What did you enjoy most about this year’s Alexandra-Clyde RSA Anzac Day services and why?
It is very pleasing to see people of all ages continuing to support the Anzac Day commemorations. I would like to think these services will continue to grow in the future. We have decided to keep the dawn service at Clyde lookout an annual event due to its popularity.
It is a very moving and special place to watch the sunrise and remember our fallen soldiers.
Q What do you do to relax?
When I do get some spare time, I enjoy spending it with my family.
I also enjoy listening to music and running.
I am hoping to complete my first half-marathon this year.