Our Story

THE HISTORY OF WAGGA RSL

With so much history, Wagga RSL Club has been Wagga’s leading social meeting place for over 70 years. An initial membership of just 381 has grown to over 26,000 members today.

Over its long history the Wagga RSL Club has witnessed many events that have shaped not just this city, but also this nation. After years of investigation and debate Wagga RSL Club was opened on 3 September 1947 as the Returned Sailors Soldiers & Airmen’s Club at 157 Baylis Street.

The name was changed to the Wagga RSL Club on 24 May 1958 at the official opening of the Club on our present site of Goonigul & Dobbs Street.

There have been many physical changes along the way. In 1964-65 the first major renovations took place. From 1967-87 $2.2 million had was spent on improvements to the Club.

2001 saw the construction of the Wagga RSL Motel. The 46 room, four and half star Motel is a great asset to the city of Wagga and a profitable entity for the club.

In 2004 the Wagga RSL Club provided a necessary lifeline to the Wagga City Golf Club. Substantial investment was made in upgrading the greens and clubhouse. The Wagga RSL Club ceased its involvement and financial assistance to the Wagga City Golf Club in 2008.

In 2005 major renovations to our function spaces gave our corporate and private clients a modern space to hold all types of events and give us the ability to cope with the growing demand for function spaces.

2007-2008 saw the $2 million construction of the outside balcony and terrace overlooking the MTC. This also involved upgrades to our entrance and foyer areas. This was a trying time for the Club but well worth the wait once construction was complete.

2009 saw perhaps the Clubs greatest change when the Board of Directors and members agreed to amalgamate with the Wagga Commercial Club. It was an exciting time, as we took the opportunity to rebuild the Commercial Club, investing more than $2 million to turn it into a modern, inviting venue for members and visitors alike. However, ongoing years of losses and an unpredictable economic climate led to the closure of the Commercial Club in 2020.  The building is currently being used by South Wagga Primary School for before and after care for children after devestating fires damged a number of thier buildings.  The premises will soon be transformed into a business hub with long term leasing arrangements for interested parties. 

Future developments inlucde a unit development in Goonigul Avenue opposite the motel and a new outdoor gaming, lounge & terrace space overlooking the bowling greens at the western end of the club.

The Club is committed to offering our members and partners continued growth and prosperity for the community to enjoy.   The Wagga RSL Club continues to change with the times and evolve into a contemporary destination, without losing our unique identity, nor any of our values.

Henry's on Goonigul

Our heritage is rich and meaningful, and therefore the naming of the restaurant has great significance. Goonigul was the name of the original homestead built by Henry Baylis in the 1870’s. Henry Baylis was very proactive in the advancement of the town and district. He was the first appointed police magistrate in Wagga in 1858 and Baylis street was fittingly named after him. Henry built ‘Goonigul’ in the 1880’s and lived there with his wife Sybella and their children. The homestead was transformed into the RSL Club in 1947.  We were very excited to take on the catering of our restaurant ourselves in early 2022 and thought it was fitting for us to give it such a meaningful name.  It is an exciting time for catering and functions in our venue as we explore the needs of our community and offer quality food and locally sourced produce made with lots of love and passion. 

Become A Member of Wagga RSL

Become a member of Wagga RSL, for exclusive access to deals, discounts, social events and entertainment. It’s easy to join, simply follow the button below to become a part of RSL Wagga