Tributes for Peter Aspinall as Albany Vietnam War veteran steps down as RSL State president for health reasons

Headshot of Liam Croy
Liam CroyAlbany Advertiser
WA State president RSL Peter Aspinall at Albany's National Anzac Centre.
Camera IconWA State president RSL Peter Aspinall at Albany's National Anzac Centre. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Albany’s Peter Aspinall has stepped down as State president of the RSLWA for health reasons, sparking an outpouring of tributes from his RSL colleagues around Australia.

The RSLWA issued a statement on Friday announcing his retirement and expressing the organisation’s “profound appreciation and respect” for the outgoing State president and his “visionary” support of veterans.

Mr Aspinall, a Vietnam War veteran, became the first regionally-based RSLWA State president when he was elected to the position in 2016.

He served on the RSLWA board from 2008 to 2021 and was the president of the Albany RSL sub-branch from 2010 to 2015.

Acting State president Duncan Anderson said the Albany man would be greatly missed around the board table.

“Peter’s inclusive approach to chairing the board, his guidance and his patience was legendary,” Mr Anderson said.

“He demonstrated an outstanding and unwavering commitment and dedication to RSLWA and to RSL Australia.”

RSLWA chief executive John McCourt thanked Mr Aspinall for his “support, guidance and counsel”.

“Peter was the sort of leader whose approach to issues and challenges was always measured, intuitive, genuine and inclusive,” Mr McCourt said.

“He had the inner strength of being strong when needed yet always respectful of the views of others.”

In a statement, the RSLWA said Mr Aspinall presided over a period of “renewal and innovation” including the development of the ANZAC House Veteran Central building.

The “successful financial management” of the organisation during his tenure had left the RSLWA in a “sound financial position”.

RSL national president Major General Greg Melick said Australia’s veteran community saluted Mr Aspinall.

“Peter Aspinall made an outstanding contribution to the RSL and his skills and experience will be a loss,” Major General Melick said.

The RSLWA will now start the process of electing a new State president to serve the remainder of Mr Aspinall’s term ahead of the 2023 RSLWA State congress.

The out-of-cycle election will be conducted by the WA Electoral Commission and will involve all WA sub-branches, with the result to be announced in February 2022.

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