After huge backlash over the weekend, the Return & Services League has issued a statement late night announcing the withdraw of policy on banning Welcome To Country ceremonies.
In the statement, the RSL WA said the reason of policy withdraw is due to concerns “that its position on the matter had unfortunately drawn misunderstanding of its intent.”
The organization stressed that they values, respects Australian Indigenous community and Indigenous Veterans.
“RSL WA accepts the policy may have been open to misinterpretation. Its advisory police will be reviewed and relaunched in the near future following further dialogue with interested parties,” the statement read.
“RSL WA adheres comments made by RSL National President, Major General Greg Melick, that the organization supports the national commemorative services guidelines as set down by the Commonwealth Of Australia.”
The Returned and Services League WA has been widely criticized on last Friday after a policy discouraging the use of indigenous languages and the Welcome to Country at ANZAC Day dawn services came to light.
The League called the use of such elements ‘divisive’, and unnecessarily singling out one culture.
Government ministers Paul Papalia and Peter Tinley both made scathing remarks about the policy, calling it “a step back into the past” that creates a problem where there was none.
It’s understood that RSL WA President John McCourt claimed that he was punched in the head last Friday as the controversy continued over the weekend.