Narooma Rotary Beacon 28 March 2019

Rod’s Ramble

Hello. My Rotary contribution this week was limited to helping out towards the end of the Market. Unfortunately rain dampened the enthusiasm of many stallholders and when I arrived there were only about one third left and the BBQ boys were having a chat. Thanks to all who helped out.

Bob and Therese Aston head oversees mid April so I am looking for some assistance with clearing the mailbox and taking and collating Board minutes in April, May and June. I will also need help to mark out NATA Oval for the markets in April, May and June If you can help let me know ASAP.

A more serious and now pressing matter is that regretfully David McInnes has withdrawn from being President Elect and the Presidency for 2019-20. If anyone is prepared to step into this breach contact me urgently as there are two meetings approaching were your attendance would be beneficial. I would like to go to the next Board meeting with a solution to this problem but can’t unless someone steps up to help ensure the future of the Club.

This Week:

Dr Denis Muller will talk about ‘Fake News’

Dennis worked as a newspaper journalist for 27 years on The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Since 1995 has worked as an independent social and policy research consultant , taught media and communications management and ethics and media law at the University of Melbourne, been a weekly guest on ABC Radio Victoria in ‘Behind the Media’, and wrote Journalism Ethics for the Digital Age.

Sounds particularly timely… Don’t forget to invite your friends and family and let Bob Aston know by Tuesday if you are bringing any extras.


Last week

Geoff Robin’s talk on the Australian Constitution last week was quite thought provoking; he was thanked by Bob Aston

What a fascinating talk Geoff Robin gave last week about The Australian Constitution; his passion for the subject shone through. Most of us also realised how little we know about our Constitution and how much we take for granted.

Geoff is a former journalist (Canberra, Melbourne), Federal public servant, and former advocate for the Australian Local Government Association, and much more. He outlined why he believes the Constitution needs reform, drawing our attention too to many sections now redundant. Interesting there are over 50 references to the Queen. He also highlighted how difficult it is to make any reforms.

What was also interesting was hearing some of the ‘back story’ to the drawing up of our Constitution. Most of us have heard of Henry Parkes and Edmund Barton in relation to the Constitution, but in fact the principal author of the Constitution was Tasmanian Andrew Inglis Clark (1848 –1907) who was also an engineer, barrister, politician, electoral reformer and jurist. Ill health plus other factors took him out of the picture in the late 1890s. Geoff said in one of several reviews of the draft Constitution, his colleagues removed what is referred to as ‘Clark’s clause’ which, “as well as providing for the concept of an Australian citizenship, embraced the most fundamental of individual rights, the protection of life, liberty and property and equality before the law”.

The Australian Constitution Act was passed by the British Parliament 9 July 1900.  Who would have thought such a potentially dry subject could be so interesting.

More  Renewable news with view to Expo

A meeting of almost 400 people in Bega last week unanimously voted for 100% renewable energy for the Bega Valley by 2030. The vote, initiated by local climate change action group Clean Energy for Eternity (CEFE), followed a similarly unanimous vote and public meeting in Tathra last month that was attended by Frank.

The talk was not just on solar, although mention was made of the potential benefits of a community-owned solar farm. Wind, the rapidly growing and developing field of lithium-ion batteries, which have historically been the most expensive part of any solar system, were all mentioned. Also mentioned was the potential of anaerobic digesters to capture gases from organic waste and create power.

The results of both meetings will be taken to Bega Valley Shire Council which is currently reviewing its clean energy policy. The meeting heard how local government is leading the way in switching to renewable energy. Eleven other councils including Eurobodalla, have already adopted a 100% by 2030 goal or similar. [taken from About Regional coverage]

Rotary Youth Driver Awareness

Sandra, Geoff and Ange  will accompany Narooma High students at this year’s Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) for Year 11 students next Tuesday 2 April. This is the second day of the program which targets pre-learner drivers from Eurobodalla Shire’s five high-schools. It is run by Batemans Bay Rotary in conjunction with Moruya and Narooma Clubs. Our Club pays for the bus to get Narooma students there. 

How Rotary has changed to help people get clean water for longer than just a few years (From RI news)

The lack of access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene resources is one of the world’s biggest health problems — and one of the hardest to solve.

Rotary has worked for decades to provide people with clean water by digging wells, laying pipes, providing filters, and installing sinks and toilets. But the biggest challenge has come after the hardware is installed. Too often, projects succeeded at first but eventually failed. To read more about how Rotary tackles this problem click here.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 21 March 2019


Our very own Geoff Robin will talk about The Australian Constitution. Geoff is a former journalist (Canberra, Melbourne), Federal public servant, and former advocate for the Australian Local Government Association, and much more. He is passionate about the democratic process and therefore our Constitution which he believes needs urgent reform to safeguard our Parliamentary democracy.


Last week

Liz Cherry and the Royal Military College Duntroon Band at Narooma Golf Club

Instead of our meeting last Thursday, many of us enjoyed the wonderful concert by the Band of the Royal Military College Duntroon featuring Charmaine’s daughter Liz Cherry. Ten dollars from each ticket is going to our local Rural Fire Service units, in appreciation of their role in fighting the Tathra bushfires one year ago.

Lynn Hastings, Liz Cherry and Chris O’Brien

D9710 Learning and Development Weekend

A combined Club Development Seminar, Presidents Elect Seminar and District Assembly will be held in Canberra on the weekend 30-31 March 2019. The Presidents Elect Seminar is for incoming Club Presidents and the Assembly and Club Development seminar is open to all Rotarians and Rotaractors in the District.

Moruya gets funds for drug action team

Moruya Rotary Club will receive an initial $10,000 grant from the Australian Government to help develop a local community action plan to identify and deliver evidence-based prevention, promotion and harm-reduction activities to prevent substance misuse in Eurobodalla communities.
The Club will work in partnership with service providers, schools, police, young people, Indigenous and primary health services and other non-government organisations, with resources and support provided by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

From Bega Rotary’s webpage

Bega Rotary was involved in the recent Far South Coast Science & Engineering Challenge, now in its third year. Students attended from Monaro High, Bega High School, Sapphire Coast Anglican College, Lumen Christi Catholic CollegeEden Marine High, St Patrick’s Parish School, Mallacoota P12 College and Bombala High.

Rotary Youth Driver Awareness

This year’s Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) for Year 11 students is rapidly approaching on Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd April.  Sandra, Geoff and Ange Narooma High students will be assisting Narooma students on the Tuesday. This programme targets pre-learner drivers from Eurobodalla Shire’s five high-schools and is run by Batemans Bay Rotary in conjunction with Moruya and Narooma Clubs.

From Batemans Bay Rotary bulletin

Batemans Bay High student Elijah Kinnane gave a presentation to Bay Rotarians recently on his experiences at the National Youth Science Forum in Queensland in January. He said it was “the greatest experience” He really appreciated finding “a number of other students who were also Science Nerds and he formed lasting friendships. NYSF enabled him to decide to focus on studying Medical Biotechnology

NEXT WEEK: Dr Denis Muller on‘Fake News’

Dennis Muller worked as a newspaper journalist for 27 years on The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Since 1995 he has:

  • worked as an independent social and policy research consultant
  • taught media and communications management at the University of Melbourne in the Political Science Masters program
  • taught ethics and media law in the Masters Journalism program at the University of Melbourne
  • and been a weekly guest on ABC Radio Victoria in ‘Behind the Media’
  • wrote Journalism Ethics for the Digital Age (Scribe Publications 2014).


Rod’s Ramble

The Band of the Royal Military College in concert.

This Thursday many of us are attending the Band of the Royal Military College concert at the Golf Club. For those of you not coming, this is what you are missing.

Often referred to as RMC Band or the Duntroon Band, it is based in Canberra. Its role for the Army and the Australian Defence Force is predominantly ceremonial in support of Vice-Regal and government agencies, Defence Headquarters and the Royal Military College, but off the parade ground it performs as a concert band and has several smaller ensembles as well. These ensembles include a concert band, marching band, stage band, woodwind quintet, brass quintet, jazz ensemble, rock band, Dixie band (known as the Steamboat Stompers), saxophone quartet, clarinet quartet, and woodwind trio. This versatility enables the band to cover all ceremonial tasking in the ACT and to perform a regional role engaging with the community, such as with this concert tour.

The band has been deployed in many areas – support to OP BELISI II – Peace Monitoring Group – Bougainville, OP WARDEN – International Force East Timor (INTERFET), and OP ANODE – Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands. International engagements have included representing Australia in Paris for the 50th Anniversary of Armistice Day in 1968, ceremonial activities in London commemorating the Centenary of Federation in 2000 and ceremonial duties at Gallipoli on Anzac Day 2003.

The band is also a respected participant in the arts life of the wider community in Canberra. In addition to concerts at many of Canberra’s national institutions, the band is well known for its regular Music at Midday series held at the Canberra Theatre which raises funds for local charities.

RYPEN returns

Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) is a three day personal development camp, sponsored by Rotary Clubs, for boys and girls 14-17 years old. It targets those who show qualities of decency, courage, persistence, sincerity and application that deserve further development. They don’t have to be school leaders or top of the class. The next RYPEN Camp is 17-19 May at Old Mogo Town.

We need your help to find students to participate in this extremely worthwhile program.  There are 64 places to fill across our Rotary District and we hope for an even mix of boys and girls. RYPEN aims for the average student and not the outstanding few. If you know anyone who might be interested, please let us know ASAP.

I hope to see you all at our meeting on 21 March.



Our meeting this Thursday has been replaced by The Band of the Royal Military College Duntroon concert, also at the Golf Club. Over 20 Rotarians and friends are going. Starts at 6pm. Two-course dinner and concert. Over 20 of our Rotarians and friends are going. Charmaine’s daughter Liz will be starring. $10 from each ticket is going to the local Rural Fire Service.

Out and About

Last week

Bob Aston kept us entertained with some interesting Maths puzzles… all good fun although few got the correct answers. Bob then informed us they were aimed at Grade 5s…. groan.

International Toast:

ShelterBoxes help families stay living as a family unit after they lose their home in a natural or man-made disaster.

John Rungen made our international toast last week to Rotary International and the ShelterBox team. Rotary partners with ShelterBox to help communities devastated by disasters. “We all know that 2018 was a year of global disasters and conflicts,” he said. “Rotary and the ShelterBox responded 18 times to eight conflict zones, four tropical cyclones, two earthquakes, two floods, one drought and one volcanic activity.”

Countries affected included Antigua/Barbuda in the West Indies, British Virgin Islands, Chad, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines, Syria, Somaliland and Bangladesh.

In 2018, Rotary International and ShelterBox provided support to 30,000 families by providing them with emergency shelter and other household items including tents, blankets, mosquito nets, water carriers and filters, and basic tools. A further 12,000 families were provided with essential household items.

Rotarians around the world spent 1,120 days helping in many of these areas.

Rotary Youth Driver Awareness 1-2 April

This year’s Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) for Year 11 students will be held at Moruya Jockey Club Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd April.  Narooma High students are going on the Tuesday and Sandra, Geoff and Ange will be helping.

This programme targets pre-learner drivers from Eurobodalla Shire’s five high-schools and is run by Batemans Bay Rotary in conjunction with Moruya and Narooma Clubs.

The RYDA programme is written and resourced by Road Safety Education (RSE) Ltd ( and is presented to students from 600 schools across Australia. The theme of the day is ‘My Life, My Choices’ and covers a broad range of topics including hazard perception, fatigue, stopping distances, vehicle safety and the opportunity to listen to and speak with a crash survivor.

RYDA is a significant youth project for our clubs and particularly involves Batemans Bay and Moruya members in organising the days and in catering, as well as Council, Moruya Jockey Club and the Coastal Auto Group.

NEXT WEEK (21 March):

Our very own Geoff Robin will talk about The Australian Constitution.

Geoff is a former journalist (Canberra, Melbourne), Federal public servant, and advocate for Australian Local Government Association, and much more. He is passionate about the democratic process and therefore our Constitution which he believes needs urgent reform to safeguard our Parliamentary democracy. Should be interesting….

Narooma Rotary Beacon 7 March 2019

Rod’s Ramble

Regrettably I will not be with you again this week due to work commitments, this time with the Australian Security Directorate which is the organisation charged with protecting our online data. They were recently in the media concerning a cyber hacking incident involving Parliamentary emails.

It has been an active Rotary week. On Saturday, President Elect David and I went to a Rotary Foundation seminar in Ulladulla. I have been to a couple before as attendance is a condition for applying for a District Grant but it was good exposure for David as well as the opportunity to network with other Rotary Clubs.

The Foundation is of course Rotary’s charity.  At the 1917 RI convention, outgoing Rotary president Arch Klumph proposed setting up an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” That one idea, and an initial contribution of $26.50, set in motion a powerful force that has transformed millions of lives around the globe. If you would like to learn more about the Foundation click here.

You might also find this video worthwhile.

On Sunday some of our members participated in Clean Up Australia Day. Our site was Lewis’ Island – Mill Bay- boardwalk- to the wetlands. I was pleasantly surprised with how little rubbish there was. I found no cans, one bottle and lots of small pieces of plastic that can be deadly to marine life. More elsewhere in the Beacon, but thanks to Laurelle for organising the project.

Finally, at the Foundation Seminar I was reminded of this quote from  American essayist,  philosopher, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.”


5pm: Busking Committee meeting at Narooma Golf Club 6pm: Normal meeting, possibly with a couple of hands of Trivia


Last Week

Robo Rebels Abbey Dawson and Andrew Baker with Narooma High Science teachers
Christina Potts and Gayle Allison

What a fascinating and inspiring meeting last week with Narooma High Science teacher and guest speaker Gayle Allison, fellow Science teacher Christina Potts, and two of the School’s robotics team Robo Rebels Abbey Dawson (Yr 10), Andrew Baker (Yr 9). Bob Aston in introducing them stressed the importance of encouraging young people into science to create the technology leaders of tomorrow.

Gayle said the school’s robotics team started about fours ago as an extra-curricular activity and since then the team has increased its level of sophistication. Robotics is now an elective at the school and includes coding and electronics. Each year the team enters competitions, seem to be mostly if not all associated with the Lego League Trust; their first this year is the South Pacific Regional competition at Sydney’s Olympic Park 15-17 March with a Deep Space theme.  The team is already there fine tuning for the competition which involves 10 matches over two days.

Narooma High Science teacher and guest speaker Gayle Allison, Robo Rebels Andrew Baker and Abbey Dawson, and fewllow Science teacher Christina Potts, with Buzz in foreground.

Last week they demonstrated their ‘space rover’ for the competition, now called ‘Buzz’, whose task will be to land on planet Primus and collect samples while battling sandstorms. NASA is involved. Abby said it’s a game of strategy and precision. Narooma’s Robo Rebels will compete against schools and universities from across the Asia Pacific.  What is particularly interesting is that Narooma is one of the few public schools competing; most are private schools. This is fantastic networking for Narooma students and teachers; should they ever make the finals, they will be competing in the USA

Gayle said it is a massive achievement just to get the team there. The kit alone costs $7,000. Robo Rebels fundraise by running robotics workshops for the area’s young people (over 1,000 have done robotics workshops since 2015)  plus run the occasional sausage sizzles at the school. Narooma Quota and Club Narooma provide ongoing financial support for the team; perhaps a good project too for our Club to support. The next competition will be in July. 

Our other guests last week were Lynne and Jack Jefferis of Temora Rotary Club,  local ice-cream van man Julian Domaracki and Becky Doyle.

Clean Up Australia

Laurelle , Mike and Ang were half of the Narooma Rotary team that picked up rubbish along the northern foreshore of Wagonga Inlet on Sunday.

On Sunday, Ang, Mike, Rod, Gordon, Steve and Laurelle picked up rubbish along the North Narooma foreshore of Wagonga Inlet from Lewis Island to the Apex Park boat ramp and along to the Bar Beach wetland.

All were impressed by the greatly reduced volume of rubbish compared with a few years ago. We would like to think it was due to increasing awareness and social conscience of the community not to leave their rubbish behind. However we think it is more likely to be testament to two things:

One is the ongoing and maybe increasing efforts by many in our community to keep this area rubbish-free – many people, and some in particular, regularly pick up along the way as they walk and enjoy that area. The other is the cash for returns of cans and bottles.

Whatever it is, it is working. A great and ongoing effort by our community to look after the wonderful environment in which we live. Unfortunately Rod and Gordon shot through before we could get a photo.


Remember next week’s meeting has been replaced by the Duntroon Band Concert. Over 20 Rotarians and friends are going to this event. It should be a great concert and featuring Charmaine’s daughter Liz.