Patriotic funds are a type of trust fund created after the First World War, when Victorian communities raised money to assist soldiers and their families. They provide welfare services and clubrooms for returned service personnel and their dependants.
When must you establish a patriotic fund?
You must establish a patriotic fund if you intend to collect funds, receive subscriptions, or request donations for any purpose related to any military service or duty.
It is illegal to do any of these things without approval from Consumer Affairs Victoria. Under the Veterans Act 2005, the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria:
- regulates patriotic fundraising in Victoria
- ensures the proper administration and distribution of patriotic funds
- controls trustees of patriotic funds
- approves transfers of funds from one patriotic fund to another.
Overview of patriotic funds in Victoria
There are now more than 600 patriotic funds in Victoria, administered by legally appointed trustees. These include:
- the Returned and Services League (RSL)
- branches of Legacy
- the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (Victorian branch).
Patriotic fund assets total more than $640 million and are collected in many ways, including:
- fundraising activities. For example, the annual Legacy Appeal, and the sale of badges and poppies to commemorate ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and other Australian military milestones
- public and private donations. This includes donations to acknowledge serving members’ efforts in Australia’s modern military and peacekeeping activities.
On 21 August 2006, the Veterans Act 2005 replaced the Patriotic Funds Act 1958. The new legislation:
- abolished the Patriotic Funds Council and transferred the council’s regulatory powers to the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria
- established the Victorian Veterans Council
- gave the director a range of new investigative and enforcement tools, including powers to:
- require information
- seek a court injunction to make a person carry out a specific act
- apply for a search warrant.
Last updated: 25/04/2013