RSL Victoria’s annual Anzac Appeal will move to an online campaign in response to the (COVID-19) pandemic.

The decision was made by RSL Victoria shortly before the Victorian government announced stage three restrictions.

Although the traditional face to face fundraising effort of selling ANZAC badges will not be going ahead, secretary of the Wonthaggi RSL Rod Gallagher said donations could be made online.

“The issues surrounding social distancing, that many badge sellers are in their senior years and logistics of handling ANZAC tokens and money with the consequent high probable risk of transferring the infection means that the RSL sub-branches in Victoria have been directed by RSL Vic to stop public sales of Anzac Day tokens for 2020,” Mr Gallagher said.

All money raised online will go to supporting veterans and their families.

“More than ever veterans need our help, from food vouchers to paying a bill. As a Vietnam veteran, and until recent times also a volunteer advocate, I can say from my experience many veterans are doing it hard, I have seen young men and women who will no longer live a normal life,” he said.

“Moving back into the community is very hard for many and compounded by mental health problems and homeless[ness]. The last thing they want is charity, but a little recognition goes along way.”

Donations can be made online at www.anzacappeal.com.au, at Coles or Woolworths supermarkets or mailed to your local RSL Sub Branch, Wonthaggi RSL, PO Box 22, Wonthaggi Vic 3995.