Thank you to Laurelle for chairing last week’s meeting in my absence. From all accounts it was an excellent meeting with an outstanding speaker in Lynne Thomas.
It has been another busy week for the Club, catering for Narooma Motors on Saturday and the Market on Sunday. Thank you to members who helped over the weekend.
We will hold a special meeting to launch our ‘Friends of Rotary’ initiative on 2 November. The idea is to encourage prospective members to become Friends of the Club and attend the occasional meeting to learn about Rotary and to volunteer to assist the Club in fundraising and special projects, such as the Expo and Busking competition. Hopefully over time our Friends might even become members. I will provide a few more details at the meeting this week and in next week’s Beacon.
While on the topic of membership, this week’s Rotary Voices lists 10 tips to retain and attract members. Check out the list by clicking here. On Tuesday Rotary International is hosting a webinar on managing leads to attract members. So, if you have a few spare minutes on Tuesday, click here to register; note you will need to register before the event.
Our guest speaker this week is Catherine Boomer, World Vision’s International Senior Advisor for External Engagement and Campaigns.
Have a great week everyone.
The Week that was
In thanking our guest speaker Lynne Thomas last week, Michael O’Connor described her talk as ‘enlightening and enchanting’, a sentiment shared by many others.
Lynne is a local Yuin Elder, a Black Duck woman, who grew up at Wallaga Lake Koori Village which she described as ‘a very special place’. She is currently employed as the Aboriginal Education Officer at Narooma Public School (a state-wide scheme her mother Anne Thomas helped establish), has worked with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and completes a university degree this year. She is also an artist.
Lynne talked about her large extended family who cover ‘a lot of history’ and ‘a very large area of country’ which means she ‘associates’ with many places from the south coast to Botany Bay, mid north coast and across to the Snowy Mountains. Her father Guboo Ted Thomas was a respected Yuin leader. His father was a blacktracker from the mountains around Kosciusko while his mother was the daughter of a Chinese man and French woman from Braidwood. Her mother Ann Thomas was from the mid North Coast.
She said Mumbulla and Gulaga mountains are special and very powerful places with great spiritual significance for Aboriginal people, and spoke of ‘the Great Spirit’ of the Land. She explained the significance of ochre on the forehead ‘to open our heart and eyes to see’. Her parents Guboo Ted and Ann Thomas were among the five south coast Elders who joined the fight for Aboriginal land rights in the 1970s, which resulted in the formation of land councils and the subsequent return of some traditional lands and ultimately traditional owners gaining title to Mumbulla and Gulaga Mountains.
Lynn said her art ‘releases her’ and she finds a lot of inspiration for her art from stories her father told her of when he was a boy. He was taught local Aboriginal lore by ‘the old fella’ Biamanga (Jack Mumbler). Her artwork features on some NPWS interpretative signs. She also writes stories for school kids.
Renewable Energy Expo
The Expo committee is really firming up plans now for the Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday 25 November. We have about 20 exhibitors and a growing number of sponsors. The committee will meet every week up to the Expo. More details next week.
Joint Expo environmental project with School
Sandra Doyle presented two wheelie bins with different lid designs to the students of Narooma Public School last Friday, part of a joint environmental project between students and our Club to reduce schoolyard rubbish. The results will be on show at our Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday 25 November.
Sandra said some students had been concerned about the amount of rubbish in their playground and recognised it as an environmental issue. ‘Over two days, several students picked up 2,000 to 3,000 pieces of rubbish,’ she said. ‘With assistance from teacher and Environmental Co-ordinator Michelle Symons, they did a survey and found the cause seemed to be more with the design of the bin lids rather than with kids being lazy.
‘The school’s location is quite exposed. Often before the kids could get the rubbish into the bins and close the large back-hinged lids, the wind would catch lightweight rubbish and blow it away. So the students looked at types of lid that might work better. Rotary then sourced them through Sulo.’
For the Expo, students will create posters about which lid they think works best, as well as demonstrate the lids in action.
World Polio Day – 24 October
Rotarians are among millions across the world reaching out on World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio. Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted from about 350,000 cases a year to just 37 cases of wild poliovirus in 2016. So far, only 11 new cases have been reported this year, all in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
To sustain this progress and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year over the next three years. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Since 1985, Rotary has contributed more than US$1.7 billion to ending polio.