Norbert Keough, a fifth generation Australian and a United States Navy veteran, joined the Returned & Services League of Australia in April 2009. In 2014 Norb was appointed the inaugural Director of the RSL Veterans’ Centre East Sydney which a division of the North Bondi RSL Sub-Branch. He previously served as North Bondi RSL Sub-Branch’s Honorary Secretary from 2010 until 2013, is the Immediate Past President of the Sub-Branch having served as President from 2013 – 14, served as the Sub-Branch’s Delegate on the Eastern Metropolitan District Council of RSL Sub-Branches (EMDC) from 2009 – 15. Since 2010 Norb has represented the Sub-Branch as its Delegate to the RSL (New South Wales Branch) Congress.
In 2012 Norb was one of 16 individuals selected nationally for, and completed, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs National Tribunal Advocacy Course at the formerly named ANZSOG Institute for Governance at the University of Canberra. He is a Senior Advocate (DVA-TIP Level 4) and advocates pro bono for active duty Australian Defence Force servicemembers, reservists, veterans, war widows and dependents before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on DVA claims. He advises on entitlements and compensation at the initial claim stage in complex matters with the majority of his clients being from special forces units. As a Senior Advocate, Norb advises the RSL leadership on pending legislation affecting the League, military members and veterans issues in both state and federal Parliament and writes submissions to Parliament on behalf of the League. Norb also serves as a mentor to newly qualified veterans’ entitlement advisors and advocates.
Norb was appointed to a five year term as a Justice of the Peace in and for the State of New South Wales in 2011.
On the RSL NSW Congress Norb served, in 2011, as a Scrutineer (95th Congress) during the State-wide elections for RSL NSW State Council. Since 2012 Norb has been a member of the Congress Suspension Committee which decides whether or not to suspend the rules and refer important or urgent matters to the Congress agenda.
Norb’s Australian education includes a Diploma of Business Administration from the Sydney Institute of TAFE and a Certificate in Tribunal Advocacy from the University of Canberra. He is currently undergoing studies at Sydney Institute of TAFE for a Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs and Mental Health) and is expected to graduate in late 2015.
In 2015 Norb was awarded an Australia Day Achievement Medallion for his pro bono advocacy to service members of the Australian Defence Force, Veterans and their families and in particular for his work in establishing the RSL Veterans Centre East Sydney.
Norb’s military awards include, the U.S. Joint Service Achievement Medal for meritorious service to the U.S. when temporarily, in 1991, serving as the Administrative Assistant to the U.S. President’s Special Negotiator in the George H. W. Bush administration during U.S.-Philippine Military Bases Agreement negotiations; the U.S. National Defense Service Medal (First Gulf War); and the U.S. Navy Battle E, among other awards, insignias and commendations.
Belonging to an array of professional organisations, Norb is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management; served as a Committee Member, Federal Electorate of Wentworth Centenary of ANZAC Celebrations from 2013 – 15; a member of the NSW Justices Association; is a Class B member of the NSW Bar Association; an Associate Member of the American Bar Association where he is a member of the Section on Dispute Resolution on the Advocacy Committee, the Health Care Committee and Pro Bono Committee, in addition he is a member of the ABA’s Forum Committee on Affordable Housing & Community Development Law; an Associate (out-of-state) Member of the New York State Bar Association; a member of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association of Australia; the publisher of Equal Justice for Troops blog; served as a Councillor of the Royal United Services Institute of NSW Inc from 2011-13; was the Chairman of the RSL’s Keep 45 Alive from 2009-10 (Commemoration Committee for the 65th Anniversary of the end of WW2); served on the governing committee for the Royal Naval Association (NSW Branch) from 2009-10; and has written numerous op-ed pieces on military justice and veterans issues.