AT THE RISING OF THE SUN: Anzac Day Dawn service at the Coffs Harbour Cenotaph with Parade Marshal Scott Seccombe
AT THE RISING OF THE SUN: Anzac Day Dawn service at the Coffs Harbour Cenotaph with Parade Marshal Scott Seccombe Rob Wright

Answering a new call of duty

A SIMPLE advert on television years ago changed Scott Seccombe's path.

It led to a challenging and rewarding career in the armed forces and gave Scott experiences, opportunities and mateship that would be impossible to replicate in civilian life.

While he may now claim to be "semi-retired”, he packs a lot into each week.

As President of Veterans Centre Mid North Coast and a newly elected board member of RSL NSW this ex-serviceman is passionate about helping veterans and about the future of the RSL.

Scott is one of nine new board members for RSL NSW and is state counsellor for the Northern Country region. He said he has come into this role not to change everything but to enable positive change, to enable the RSL to go forward to better meet the needs of our veterans.

What exactly does his new role involve?

"A lot of headaches; no seriously, what I'd like to bring to it is re-engage strategic planning for the future,” Scott said.

"I'm part of the new breed coming through the ranks, eager to breathe new life into RSL NSW.

"One of the things I'm passionate about is defining our marketplace and the need for engaging with the ex-service community and their families.

"The problem with the RSL is that it's been run like a 1977 footy club, and I mean no disrespect by that. But the way a club was run in 1977 doesn't work today.

"I'm not knocking the older ways but they no longer work in the stringent compliance that we have in an organisation in 2017. These old fellas have done a good job but we need to adapt to modern times.

"My goal, and I have a three-year plan, is that we have young men and women who want to be involved and take my position. I don't want to be there in 20 years, if you're there too long you get stale and we need to be a vibrant organisation.”

Scott's face is familiar to many as performed the duties of Parade Marshall at local Anzac Day services until 2014. Scott was honourably discharged from service in 1999 after having reached the rank of corporal. During his time as a field engineer he was posted in 1st Field Squadron and travelled to Malaysia, Singapore, England, Scotland, Wales and Canada and, in 1997, completed a six-month deployment with British and NATO Forces in Bosnia during the Balkans War. He then returned to the School of Military Engineering as an instructor in mine warfare.

On his return to the civilian world he opened the Extreme Team Training Centre at his property in Karangi and later Paintball Skirmish. Both businesses focused on principles learned in the defence force.

He volunteered with RSL Active which looks after and provides opportunities for veterans to participate in adaptive sports and has been an advocate for ex-servicemen to participate in the Invictus Games.

"I met some amazing and inspiring people at the Invictus Games and urge anyone who is in the ex-services to have a crack.”

This week he is in Canberra to present a lecture to front line staff of the department of Veteran Affairs high-lighting issues relating to veterans.

He may no longer be "signed up” but it's a safe bet if you scratch Scott, he still bleeds khaki.

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