How you help Adam the dog handler

Finding a purpose after Defence

Updated 11 Feb 2024 (first published Feb 2024)

Meet Adam Mitchell, who is our dedicated hero for VIP Heroes Draw 13. Adam served as a dog handler with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

After 12 years serving, Adam transitioned to civilian life, rediscovering his purpose with the support of RSL Queensland, and his retired military dog, Fod.

To those who support the RSL Art Union and purchase tickets I’d like to say, thank you. It is your support that allows the RSL to take care of veterans like me.

From working as a butcher to a parade in Paris

Adam joined the RAAF in his late 20s after working as a butcher, in part because it was the only service that would allow him to specialise from enlistment.

“I’d worked in a trade as a butcher since I was 16 and found myself with no real goals as time went on,” he said.

“My family has a long involvement with RAAF. My father was a dental technician, my uncle was a mechanic, and my grandfather was a firefighter.

So, I decided to follow the family tradition of service by also joining the RAAF.”

Adam was deployed to Malaysia and the Middle East during his time in the Air Force including being in Paris for the French National Day Parade in 2016.

“Being chosen to represent the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Paris during the French National Day Parade is one of my career highlights,” he said.

“It meant a lot to me as I was chosen based on the connection my family had to serving in France during WW1 and I was there representing the ADF, my RAAF unit, and my family.”

Finding purpose through higher education

Adam, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, said one of the hardest things about retiring from the Air Force was rediscovering his purpose.

In the Defence force, you have a very clear sense of purpose and when you are transitioning into civilian life that can go away very quickly, he said.

“You often lose contact with your friends, or you just don’t have the same peer support network.”

Adam’s re-entry to the civilian world was made easier with the support of an Ex-Serving Scholarship from RSL Queensland to set him up for starting university studies.

He’s studying a Bachelor of Psychology Honours at USC on the Sunshine Coast – a career he chose because it would enable him to help people and wasn’t physically demanding.

“One of the things that resonates with me about psychology is that real one-on-one connection with people. So that’s one of the biggest reasons I want to transition down that pathway,” Adam said.

The passing of Fod the dog

In addition to study, Adam’s working dog, Fod, helped him through the early days after his retirement. They started working together in 2008 when she was 14 years old and sadly, she passed away at the end of 2020.

“When she passed away, I wanted to find a way to make sure she was remembered,” Adam said.

“I contacted the Glasshouse Mountains RSL Sub Branch and asked if they would be willing to accept a memorial for her.

“They accepted and it meant the world to me that she would have a permanent place of remembrance.”

Adam has also drawn upon the support of his RSL community to offer a helping hand and support when he’s needed it.

For me, what I get out of my RSL membership is knowing that I’ve always got someone there. As you walk through the door and you immediately feel like people care, he said.

“After leaving the Air Force I saw a DVA advocate through the RSL and she basically steered me through the process and applications.

“The financial support is incredible but more than that it is knowing there is someone on the other end of the line to listen and help, and to link in with other services that could help.”

Adam has received support from RSL Queensland, which is funded by the RSL Art Union – and your VIP Club membership, to transition to civilian life and find a meaningful career.

How your support changes lives

Our regular supporters are so important for RSL Queensland to provide much-needed help to veterans and families. The money raised helps deliver a range of impactful services and programs to help in real and meaningful ways. In 2023, 20% more veterans and families were supported by RSL Queensland’s services than the previous year, including:


veterans and families supported by RSL Queensland’s services.


claims and appeals submitted to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.


jobs found for veterans and their partners.


veterans and families housed in safe, permanent accommodation.

Frequently asked questions

How your support helps
What does my contribution to RSL Art Union go towards? 

Funds raised through RSL Art Union allows RSL Queensland to provide practical support, assistance, advice and camaraderie to current and former Australian Defence Force members and their families across Queensland and nationally.

RSL Queensland’s mission is to provide care, commemoration and camaraderie to enable veterans and families to live with dignity and respect.

For example, in 2023, RSL Queensland supported 8,411 veterans and their families with their services, found jobs for 285 veterans and their partners, and helped 202 individuals into safe, permanent housing.

You can read about our services and stories at

How can I get assistance from RSL Queensland?

Life always has its ups and downs. But as a veteran, or the partner of a veteran, you don’t have to face them on your own.

Whether you're looking for employment, scholarships, wellness programs, or assistance with DVA claims, RSL Queensland has free programs, and people at the ready, to help you achieve your life goals.

To learn more and get assistance, visit or call 134 RSL.

Our Prizes
How many prize homes do you draw each year? 

Every year we bring you 10 multi-million dollar properties, some with added gold bullion or even luxury cars. Get a sneak peak at future prizes with up to 5 games available for purchase or pre-order at any time. See the VIP Calendar for more on prize draw dates.

What are the VIP Heroes Draws?

In addition to our 10 prize home draws each year, VIP Club members have exclusive entry in two VIP-only Heroes Draws worth millions in gold bullion (subject to State/Territory Licensing approval). In other words, you must be a VIP Club member to be able to purchase these tickets. See the VIP Calendar for more on prize draw dates. Or find out about how you can become a VIP here from $5 a ticket.

How do pre-order tickets work?

Get in early and reserve your tickets before a game officially opens through pre-order. Simply add the tickets to your cart now and we won’t deduct any funds until the draw’s nominated open day. See the VIP Calendar for more on prize draw dates.

What is the Bonus Gold prize?

If you purchase a ticket book worth $10 or more in one of our 8 prize home draws, or a ticket book worth $30 or more in one of our 2 Golden Treasure prize home draws, you're eligible to win a Bonus Gold prize!

Ranging between $10,000 and $100,000 in gold bullion, the Bonus Gold prize is awarded to the first prize winner and determined by the value of their ticket book purchase.

For more information, please see the Terms and Conditions.

What happens if I win gold bullion?

You have the option of taking possession of the gold bullion or selling the gold bullion to claim its value in cash.

Please note that selling costs and market variations apply when selling gold bullion.

Can I provide feedback on the new website?

Of course! We love to hear feedback from our customers. We built our new website to cater for you and to improve the customer experience, so we'd love to hear what you think. You can provide any feedback here!

How do I find out if I'm a winner?

After each draw, we attempt to contact the winner by phone as the priority. The winning ticket number will also be posted on our Winners page, Facebook and Instagram shortly after the draw.

See our latest winner stories.

When will the details of each draw be released to the public?

Full details of our current, and some of our upcoming draws are available online – see Prizes.

For the latest draw updates, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

If you're signed up for our emails, we'll email you on the open day of each draw, giving you all the draw details and the chance to order tickets.

See the VIP Calendar for draw dates.

Do I have to pay tax on the first prize if I win?

The transfer of all our lottery prizes to prize winners is not taxable for the prize winner. There may be tax consequences for the prize winner for the ongoing use or sale of the prize. More detailed information can be found via the Australian Taxation Office.

Please note RSL Queensland is not able to provide financial or taxation advice. We advise all our prize winners to seek professional financial and tax advice to fully understand any implications.

Where are the draws held?

RSL Art Union draws are held at ANZAC House, 283 St Pauls Terrace, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 or as specified in the Terms and Conditions for each draw. Draw results will be published online, on Facebook and Instagram.

Are all of your prize homes new?

The majority of RSL Art Union prize homes are built brand new, while some are existing homes, expertly renovated. In both instances, RSL Queensland works closely with our accredited partners in the building industry to ensure the highest quality of standards is maintained.

Are your prize homes open for viewing?

Due to the often residential location and popularity of our prize homes, RSL Art Union has not been permitted by regional councils to conduct open homes because of the disruption to the local community.

Our prize homes might be closed to public viewing, but you can explore them in just as much detail online, any time you like! Visit our Prize page to access draw brochures, photos, videos, floor plans and virtual tours. All addresses are listed on our prize pages, so why not take a drive past and explore the neighbourhood. RSL Art Union will continue to assess opportunities to re-open prize homes to the public into the future.

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