Narooma Rotary Beacon 3 August 2017

Bob’s Blog

Hello everyone

Last week the Club received a letter from Batemans Bay Rotary Club seeking support from our Club for a Global Grant Application for a water and sanitation project in conjunction with the RC Intramuros in Manila, Philippines.

The project will build toilet facilities for the three Aetas communities of Sitio Flora, Sitio Kalawang and Sitio Babo to address their current problem of inadequate access to sound sanitation facilities.  To me it sounds like a worthwhile project to support, it is a great example of how we can support another Club and ‘Make a Difference’ internationally.

I have also been contacted by Ron Finnegan from Merimbula Rotary. Ron is also the chair of the Sapphire Coast Arts & Sports Youth Development Fund. The Fund was first established in October of last year with the specific purpose of supporting the youth in the Bega Valley Shire in an effort to relieve the cost constraints for children and their parents associated with travel and other expenses to major population areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra to participate in regional and state-wide sporting and cultural activities.

The Fund is its own organisation; it seeks and enjoys funding support from service clubs, business houses, community clubs and arts groups in the community. Since inception it has supported 20 performing arts students and athletes and the list grows. Ron is keen to come and talk to us about the Fund and how it operates. It is something we may wish to consider as another way of ‘Making a Difference’ in our own community.

Thank you to Michael O’Connor who has organised time slots with the Council to sell Whale Watching raffle tickets. Michael fronted up at the newsagency and IGA last Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to sell tickets. I helped on Friday and Saturday and John Rungen last Wednesday. Michael is a fantastic salesman, his skills enabling us to sell 10 of 40 books to date, without his willingness to take on this role our task of selling would be that much harder.

Speaking of Michael, he will be our guest presenter this week. I know all members are keen to hear the highs and lows of his epic trek. Remember it is a partners’ and friends’ night; it would be great to see a room full of people on Thursday.

Have great week.



The Week That Was

Jenni Bourke’s talk last week was a delight. While we see aspects of her work and influence most days around town, that is just a small part of an extraordinary range of Jen’s work and creativity. Jen is a local ceramic artist, sculptor and potter. What impressed us was her passion and enthusiasm for her art, for teaching (not only kids but her Wednesday ceramics class which includes dedicated students Peter Hartley and Donna Anderson), for our community, and for expressing through her art issues that deeply affect her.

President Bob Aston thanks Jenni Bourke at last week’s meeting.

Jen was born in England and grew up in North Narooma where her parents ran Wagonga Slopes cabins (where Fishermen’s Crescent is now). She trained in Canberra in the mid1970s at the Canberra School of Art and then received a Diploma of Education.

Her first involvement with Narooma Rotary was in 1979 when she installed three tall wooden people sculptures in Rotary Park. Our Rotarians cut trees Jenni had selected from the forest, carted them to her studio where she painted them, and then installed them in the Park. They proved very popular.

From 1979, Jen taught Art and Ceramics at Narooma High until retiring a couple of years ago. Her students also painted telegraph poles around town and later large murals around Narooma, including on the toilet blocks at Kianga and Bar Beach.

Some of her sculptural works she showed us are powerful, realistic and moving statements on social issues, such as the life-size sculptures of abandoned babies in Afghanistan prompted by Mahboba’s Promise and then from meeting Mahboba.

Her amazingly detailed dog sculptures are exhibited regularly in a Sydney gallery.

She throws herself 150% into projects she cares about, like making 200 ‘boob candle pots’ and ‘bra bowls’ to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Network and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, or in the renovations to the Kinema.

In thanking Jen, her former boss President Bob described Jen as ‘an outstanding teacher’.

Busking Festival thank you to sponsors

We are working towards having a thank you evening for sponsors of the busking Festival on Thursday 31 August. Details to come.

This week

As Bob mentioned, this Thursday Michael O’Connor will be talking about his walking of the Bibbulmun Track. This is a partners’ and friends’ night so please don’t forget to let Anthony know numbers so we can ensure you have a seat.

The Renewable Energy Expo committee will meet beforehand at 5pm at the Golf Club.



Narooma Rotary Beacon 27 July 2017

Bob’s Blog

Hello Everyone

We held our first markets for the 2017/18 Rotary year on Sunday. While July is traditionally our smallest market being mid-winter, stallholder numbers were well down compared to those who had booked in. Some members guessed it may have been because some stallholders may have thought it was only the third Sunday of the month.  Whatever the reason, the sun came out and we were treated to a magic winter day with plenty of locals checking out stalls.

Our second shift in the van on Sunday – Lynn Hastings, Merinda Antill and Sandra Doyle.

When I first joined Rotary, we held the markets in Narooma Plaza carpark. As you can imagine, cars intermingled with stall holders on a sloping carpark wasn’t the best way to conduct a market. The markets in those days were more a trash and treasure (actually mostly trash), rather than the variety we have today including fruit and veg, clothing, art and craft, plant stalls, jumping castles and freshly made gourmet pizzas.

Narooma Rotary Markets have been at NATA Oval since early 2000. They are now a vibrant and important part of our community. Since 2000, I estimate the markets have raised more than $175,000 for our small Club. These funds have been used to support local charities such as the Rural Fire Service, the Volunteer Rescue Association, Surf Club, local schools and pre-schools, and international and national charities such as ShelterBox, the Rotary Foundation, Australian Rotary Health, and those affected by natural and man-made disasters.

The challenge for us of course is how do we make a great fundraiser even better? When Chris returns from overseas we will undertake a quick review of our markets to make them better and more relevant to our community.

Planning is well underway again for our 2017 Renewable Energy Expo to be held on Saturday 25 November. Our goal is to build on last year’s event and to provide as much information as possible to our community about renewable energy, reducing energy costs and reducing carbon emissions. If you have any suggestions about the Expo, please let Frank know; he is keen to hear your ideas. He and Laurelle checked out a forum hosted by Clean Energy for Eternity on Sunday afternoon at Bermagui.

Have a great week everyone.


The Week That Was

 Only 10 members were at last week’s meeting with many members away in search of warmer climates.  We were fortunate to have many guests including Gordon Bentley, his wife Di and son Scott, Enid and Colin Holmes, Merinda Antill, Rachel McInnes, her mother-in-Law and her friend, and of course our guest speaker Anthony Mayne.

Sandra Doyle thanks our guest speaker Cr Anthony Mayne

Anthony told us about his role as a Eurobodalla Shire Councillor and Deputy Mayor. He enjoys being on Council and felt all councillors and staff worked hard to improve our local communities. He said councillors often became involved in issues that weren’t necessarily the role of local government because community members felt they were contactable and understood local issues.

One question that arose during Anthony’s talk was the origins of the shire’s name of ‘Eurobodalla’ (see note at the end of The Week that was’).

 Our MUNA team

Our Club will again sponsor a Narooma High team to the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) in Canberra’s Old Parliament House 18-20 August. This has proved to be a hugely successful program with our local students in recent years, thanks to the initiatives and dedication of some of our Rotarians and the support of teacher Lachlan Reilly.

Our team of Cyann Vlatovic (who went as an observer last year), Campbell Allison and Isaak Anderson, all from Year 11, will represent France. Sandra Doyle reports they have been busy researching France for some weeks now and working on the five resolutions they will debate in Canberra from France’s viewpoint.

Our students are now in the middle of exams but once they are over ‘the team will be back in full swing’.  Sandra says they had hoped to meet up with Batemans Bay and Moruya teams before MUNA, as they had in the past, but at this stage it looks as if that day will coincide with their exams. She will continue working with the team and Narooma High teacher Lachlan Reilly during lunchtimes.

CEFE and Powering Bermagui

Clean Energy for Eternity (CEFE) organised an impressive forum in Bermagui on Sunday afternoon –‘Powering Bermagui’ – which Frank Eden and I attended. It attracted about 200 people. The outcome was the possibility of a solar farm for Bermagui and a challenge suggested by Dr Mathew Nott of a competition between Tathra and Bermagui for the most solar panels by 2020.

Frank Eden, representing South Coast Health & Sustainability Alliance, and Bermagui Forum MC Bill Southwood of CEFE.

The eight speakers included company representatives at the forefront of technology aimed at cheaper power, improved reliability and lower emissions, and included Professor Ross Garnaut, now with Zen Energy. Speakers were allowed only 10 minutes each, with 30 minutes questions at the end.

Bega Valley Shire Mayor Cr Kristy McBain opened the forum, fresh from the launch of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership in Canberra. The four south coast councils were among the 30 signatories to the initiative designed to tackle a zero emissions future despite what some described as ‘the political lethargy’ on the issue at the Federal level.

Needless to say Frank gathered lots of ideas for our Expo in November.  Frank of course would love to see Narooma also respond to Dr Nott’s solar panel challenge.

 More Tertiary Scholar results

Carl McEvoy, our 2015 scholar, received three credits in his recent exams for his Bachelor of Media and Communications – Media Production at UTS in Sydney. His counsellor Angie is delighted and sent congratulations to Carl from Amsterdam.

Carl’s subjects were Communicating Difference (about gender relations and cultural differences), Media Power (broke down the stereotypes of the media, from news to television shows), and Fictions where everyone in the class wrote a four-minute script and the best three scripts were made. Carl’s film, for which he did the production design, sound and was the chief producer, was in the top five.

Post script on ‘Eurobodalla’

A couple of our members asked me about the origins of ‘Eurobodalla’ following Cr Anthony Mayne’s talk last week. So… Eurobodalla was a small settlement that developed along the Tuross River west of Bodalla, in the area around Tyrone Bridge (to Nerrigundah), from the 1860s. The name is derived from an Aboriginal word for the area and supposedly means ‘land between waters’ or ‘another boat harbour’.

While Thomas Sutcliffe Mort was developing his Bodalla property, others selected land in the adjoining area of Urabodalla [sic] near  the junction of the Bega, Wagonga, Bodalla and Nerrigundah (then a gold mining area) roads. There was a store near the road junction in 1865 and the mailmen between Moruya and Bega passed twice a day. At that time the main south ‘road’ between Moruya and Bega went through Eurobodalla and skirted around the Inlet to the west of Gulaga.

It is interesting to note Eurobodalla ‘nicked’ the post office from Bodalla in 1869/1870, much to the disgust of Bodalla residents who soon had the post office at Bodalla reinstated. For some years the two post offices co-existed. There were three inns around Eurobodalla about this time – Manusu’s Grecian Inn on the south side of the Tuross, and two on the north side on the road between Nerrigundah and Moruya.

Eurobodalla had the first public school in the area (which lasted at least until 1927) and for many years a tennis court, cheese factory (until early twentieth century), School of Arts and Roman Catholic Church (moved to Dalmeny in 1950s). Bodalla soon overtook Eurobodalla in importance and after the ferry was installed at Narooma in 1894, traffic bypassed Eurobodalla and it gradually  declined.


Narooma Rotary Beacon 20 July 2017

Bob’s Blog

 Hello Everyone

As I mentioned at last week’s Club Assembly one of our major funding raising efforts will be to support Australian Rotary Health.

Australian Rotary Health is one of the largest funders of mental health research in Australia. It also provides funding into a broad range of general health areas, provides scholarships for rural medical and nursing students including Indigenous health students. Australian Rotary Health also provides funding into areas of health that do not readily attract funding and promotes findings to the community. To find out more about Australian Rotary Health click here to check out their website.

With the changeover gone and the cooler weather about it is interesting to note that many of our members have decided take a well-earned holiday and head to warmer climates. Peter Bull is trying to improve his golf on the Gold Coast and Mal has headed off in the caravan to seek the sun. If Facebook is any guide Chris and Ang are having a great time exploring Northern Europe. Iris has even left Frank to his own devices and headed off to Germany to catch up with family. Lyn Hastings is heading to the USA and Rod will be heading off to Canada soon.

These absences combined with other members tasking short breaks significantly reduce the number of members available to help at Club events and activities. The best way to address this is to increase our membership, something we need to discuss and act on in the not too distant future.

Have a great week.


The Week that Was

 Some points from the Board meeting and Club Assembly

  • Busking Festival thank you to sponsors’ night – Board has proposed for Thursday 31 August 5.30-7pm at Golf Club. Details to come.

    Our Club’s wheel of fortune with John Doyle and Enid Holmes
  • Barbecue for old Falcon car rally Sunday 15 October – Board agreed to request to provide a barbecue, requiring two shifts. Details to come.
  • Our 60th next year – Board is looking for ideas of how best to celebrate it.
  • Membership ideas – President Bob raised possibility of associate membership as a way of interesting potential members, and of ensuring current members feel involved with current projects.More items next week.

Narooma Lions thanks for the Busking

We had a lovely letter from Narooma Lions President Margaret Latimer congratulating us ‘for the outstanding success’ of the busking festival in May. She said, ‘Rotary’s foresight, energy and commitment were exemplary’. She thanked us for asking Lions to be part of the event and said how much they all enjoyed  it.

More updates from our Tertiary Scholars

Melanie Miller, our 2016 Scholar, has done really well in her first semester for her Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology at UNE. She achieved a distinction in Human Anatomy, a credit for Exercise Science and a distinction in Human Physiology. Mel had a gap year in 2016. Bob Antill is her counsellor.

Sabine Kildea, our scholar this year, received a credit in all four subjects – Criminology, Politics, International Relations and International Security. She is doing an Arts degree at ANU. Michael O’Connor is her counsellor.

Meanwhile Carl McEvoy, our 2015 scholar, is waiting on his results which won’t be out until later this month. He is doing a Bachelor of Media and Communications – Media Production at UTS in Sydney. Angie Ulrichsen is his counsellor. This will be his final scholarship payment.

Narooma Lions Drug and Alcohol Forum

Narooma Lions plans a community forum on Saturday 11 November to raise awareness about the impact of drug and alcohol abuse on individuals, families and the wider community. A session for high school students will be on the day before. Our Board has agreed to Lion’s request for support, but asked for some clarification on how we might best do that.

District merger’ ‘in the wind’

President Bob mentioned in the last newsletter that there is a proposal to merge our Rotary District 9710 with the neighbouring District 9700 from 1 July 2020. That’s ‘redistricting’ in Rotary jargon. We will be asked to vote on the proposal at club level soon.

D9700 covers clubs in central and southern NSW including Orange, Bathurst, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Forbes, Parkes, Cowra and Young as well as Grenfell and Lake Cargelligo (where Bob started his teaching career). Should the two districts merge, the distance from clubs at the District’s extremities will be over 550km.

This proposal has come about because a Rotary International (RI) policy states the RI Board may eliminate or change the boundaries of any district with fewer than 1,100 Rotarians or move the clubs from such districts into adjacent districts. D9700 in April had 1143 members and falling. Short of a hike in membership, D9700 is heading for that 1,100 number. (Interestingly, our D9710 has 1306 members, 18 less than July last year.)

RI Director Noel Trevaskis stepped in and pre-empted this mandatory change so the two districts could have a say about their future. He met with the current DGs, DGEs and DGNs late last year and discussions continue. Our DG Steve Hill says should the merger proposal go ahead, a committee would be formed to look at how it should happen.  He adds it would not affect what happens at club level.

Interestingly Steve also noted that before 1977-1978, our Rotary District was called D270 and included most of the area now known as D9700. He wondered if this merger proposal is ‘Back to the Future’.

Can anyone help OzHarvest August-October

OzHarvest is looking for two volunteers to collect good but excess fresh food and vegetables from Bermagui Woolworths and the 777 Store, and from Narooma Woolworths on Tuesdays and Thursdays 8.30-9am, particularly from August through to October. That’s while their two regular volunteers are away, although they are also looking for more assistance longer term. That food is then to be dropped off at Katungul Aboriginal Medical Centre in Narooma and Bermagui and Wallaga Lake Preschools

OzHarvest is a national food charity which collects such food from supermarkets. growers and restaurants that would otherwise end up in landfill and deliver to local charities. If you are interested, please ring the OzHarvest Sapphire Coast Coordinator Christine Welsh on 0438 407 364.

Rotary International President Elect dies

RI President Ian Riseley has passed on the following news.

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share the sad news that the President-elect of Rotary International, Sam F. Owori, died last night as a result of post-operative complications from a planned surgery. Sam was a special person in so many ways, and his unexpected death is a huge loss to Rotary, his community, and the world.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 13 July 2017

Bob’s Blog

Hello Everyone

I have just finished reading the latest edition of Rotary Down Under and as usual the magazine is packed full of interesting articles. I found the article on our new Rotary International President Ian Riseley most informative and in some ways challenging.

Ian mentions that when he was first asked to speak at and then join a Rotary Club, he wasn’t sure what Rotary did. I wonder how many people in our community aren’t sure what Rotary does other than to run a monthly market and sell sausage sandwiches from the food van.

President Bob at our first ‘Rotarians present’ nights with Rolf at his patisserie. It was great fun.

Ian believes that Rotary needs to do a better job of communicating with people outside the organisation about our work and our ethos. When we reflect on our work we do a great job raising money for a variety of international and local causes. However, the credit is often limited to articles in Narooma News, both hard copy and online.  The question for us is how do we ensure our work and efforts are recognised after that news story is forgotten?

Ian also says that Rotary must do more to welcome younger people into the organisation. He states that younger people are interested in service and are eager to do good. However, we must offer them involvement that doesn’t waste their time. So another question for us is, what do we need to do to make Rotary in Narooma more interesting for younger members?

Members may be aware that there are plans to merge districts 9710 and 9700 from 1 July 2020 with Club members required to vote on the proposal. We will discuss this at our Club Assembly on Thursday. District 9700 covers clubs in central and southern NSW including Orange, Bathurst, Wagga, Griffith, Forbes, Parkes, Condobolin, Cowra and Young as well as smaller towns in between. It even includes my old home town of Grenfell and Lake Cargelligo where I started my career as a teacher.

Our first Board meeting will be held this Thursday commencing at the Golf Club at 5pm. The dinner meeting that follows will be a Club Assembly. Please bring your ideas and suggestions to meet our 2017/18 challenges.

Thank you to Rolf for being our first ‘Rotarian Presents’ last week. It was great to hear about Rolf’s work and the secrets of bread making.

Have a great week


The Week that Was

Our first ‘Rotarian Presents’ night was with Rolf at his Patisserie. It was great fun hearing about making the perfect dough for different uses, seeing his equipment, and hearing about the structure of his working week. The resulting bread rolls made under Rolf’s instruction were absolutely delicious, fresh out the oven. However, Rolf will not be taking on any apprentices from our group… Frank certainly takes the dress prize… (see photos at end of The Week that Was

We find new home for old equipment in Samoa

Some quick thinking by Lynda Ord and Bob Antill and a prompt response by Fred Fawke and Brian Goldstraw from Canberra will give new life to some discarded equipment from Narooma Community Health Centre. Lynda was told about the old

Rotary District 9710 RAWCS chair Brian Goldstraw and DIK chair Fred Fawke from Canberra take delivery of the discarded equipment from Narooma Community Health Centre via PP Bob Antill. Photo by Lynda

equipment destined for the scrap heap, spoke with Bob, and in double quick time Fred and Brian were down with a large trailer to take back five old wheelchairs, five wheelie walkers, two walking frames and two hospital beds.

One of the ever energetic Fred Fawke’s many roles is chair of District 9710 Donations in Kind (DIK) committee. Fred said they have cleaned them up, done a few minor repairs and they will now take them to Melbourne with similar equipment from Canberra. ‘They’ll then go as a back load in a container, courtesy of a private company, to the Rotary Club of Apia in Samoa which will distribute them where they are most needed,’ he said.

This is part of an ongoing programme between DIK and Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS).

We hear from one of our Tertiary Scholars

We have four Rotary Tertiary Scholars at the moment. Two – Connor Ross and Carl McEvoy – complete their scholarships this year; the other two have only just begun – Melanie Miller and Sabine Kildea. We forward the next instalment of their scholarships to them at the beginning of each semester, subject to them receiving a satisfactory exam results the previous semester.

Charmaine, Connor’s counsellor [the President for the year the Scholarship was awarded becomes their counsellor] has just received Connor’s results, again outstanding, plus a lovely note. Connor is doing a Bachelor of Arts (Music Industry) at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He writes:

‘Hope you and everyone at Rotary have been well… This semester I took on one less subject to allow myself a bit of breathing space while I completed an internship with Melbourne Theatre       Company working on their mainstage production of Macbeth, which was an incredible experience. This means that I’ll be taking on an extra subject next semester in order to complete my degree on time… My unending thanks once again for your continued support over the past few years.’

Connor Ross 2017

Connor received a high distinction in Music: Career Pathways, and a distinction in New Perspectives in Popular Culture. He will finish his degree this semester with a major music project, The Spectacle of Music Video, Introduction to Psychology, and Ambisonic Modelling. Hopefully we will be able to get him to talk to a future meeting, in amongst his busy schedule.

Bega’s pre-loved books raise funds

Our ‘mother club’ Bega held a three-day Winter Book Fair last weekend with over 30,000 books for sale. People were even lined up at the doors on the first day in anticipation. The Club estimated about 2,000 people visited over the weekend and bought about 10,000 books.

The book fairs are a major fundraiser for Bega Club. They also hold a book fair in January which is particularly popular with holidaymakers. Their projects include community carers’ accommodation at the South East Regional Hospital, Volunteer Rescue Association, State Emergency Service, and Rural Fire Service.



Rolf and Lynn show off our results.
We all had great fun last Thursday making bread rolls at Rolf’s Patisserie in our first ‘Rotarian Presents’ nights.