War veteran denied RSL entry because he 'looked like bikie' considers court action
Photo: The motorcycle jacket worn by Vietnam veteran, Robert Wickes, when he was refused entry into a Central Coast RSL club.
A Vietnam veteran is considering taking legal action against an RSL club on the New South Wales Central Coast after being refused entry because he was mistaken for a bikie.
Robert Wickes served in the Vietnam War as part of the Second Royal Australian Regiment and said he has faced terrible discrimination over the years, but never expected that to come from his local RSL club.
In 2012, Mr Wickes said he was denied entry to the Davistown RSL because his veterans' motorcycle vest, which sports service medals and ribbons, made him look like a bikie gang member.
"Vietnam veterans have always had a hard play," he said.
"I told the president of Davistown RSL 'you've taken me right back 40-plus years'."
Mr Wickes said he had nothing to do with any bikie gang.
"This is what I do to clear my head with having severe post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety neurosis," he said.
"So there's no reason why they should not let me into that club.
"There's nothing on my vest that depicts that I'm a member of any motorcycle group or gang or whatever." (aah what about the fact it is a motorcycle club..isnt it? Not that he should have been refused entry under any circumstances...)
After lodging an official complaint, Mr Wickes is now considering court action.
The Davistown RSL club has defended its actions and dress code.
It said the club "understands the motorcycle jacket has great personal significance" to Mr Wickes and it accepted he was "not involved in an outlaw motorcycle gang".
But it maintains there is a blanket ban on all attire that might imply membership of a motorcycle group, regardless of logo, insignia or colours.