Narooma Rotary Beacon 26 November 2020

Ange’s Chat

Narooma Rotary Markets on Sunday with Andrew Lawson, left, and President Ange Ulrichsen selling Duck raffle tickets and welcoming early market goers, while our Markets Manager Chris O’Brien finalises the Covid Safe signs .

Last Thursday 19 Nov, we joined our District 9705 Governor Dr Michael Moore AM PhD on Zoom. Michael’s impressive credentials will serve him well in this new role.

He began by congratulating us on our terrific website, which he described as “the best in the District” (!). It was updated some time ago thanks to Frank Eden’s brilliance, showcasing the beautiful environment we live in and the many great contributions we have made to our community and internationally over the years.

Some of our Narooma Rotary team Zoomed with DG Dr Michael Moore

Michael said that Rotarians are highly respected and play an important role as volunteers, contributing 47 million hours/year amounting to an equivalent Economic Value of $850m annually. He spoke at length about the District’s aspirations for the future. In 2020/21 we celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia, a great achievement. He appreciated the problems our Club is facing and offered help and support as we navigate our future.

We thanked Michael for his succinct and informative talk and we look forward to he and his wife Helen coming down from Canberra to possibly join us at the December markets or the Duck Race on Australia Day.

Lynn Hastings and Charmaine White welcomed market goers at Gate 2, while also selling quite a few Duck Race raffle tickets.

What a great market on Sunday and what an excellent result. Well done everyone! So happy the rain held off. Total takings were $2,438.50 (gate $1090, drinks $44, wishing well $439.50, and Duck Race raffle $865).

Bob, best wishes for your hand operation this week and thank you for the great support you always give. President Ange


This Thursday PDG Phil Armstrong from Moruya Rotary is our guest speaker. Phil has a wealth of knowledge and experience and we can look forward to a positive, interactive discussion on how Rotary Narooma might move forward.

The Week that Was

From Moruya Rotary

Moruya Rotary is again most appreciative of PDG Phil’s latest efforts, having secured up to $8,000 funding for a joint venture with the Chamber of Commerce in their quest to produce a Light Show ‘Luminous’. Everyone involved is quite excited about this project spearheaded by Jude Manahan. Moruya Rotarians sound as if they will also be playing a significant part in the show.

Moruya Club has had two more resignations by two of their younger members; one due to work pressures, and the other is moving out of the area. This week the Club is discussing forming a satellite club, apparently in the hope of attracting younger members.

The Club has also made a significant step forward in that Chris Manahan has agreed to accept nomination as President Elect.


On ESC draft plan and NATA Oval

You may remember that our Club put in a submission on Council’s draft Plan of Management for Narooma Sport and Leisure Precinct. The final plan goes before this week’s Council meeting. Plans to bring in the perimeter fence to allow people to walk around the outside (!) have been scrapped as have plans to plant trees and erect picnic tables within the perimeter. The revised plan includes power to the southwest corner for a temporary stage for events, but there seem to be no plans for a sound shell as such.

BowelCare report out

The report on 2020 BowelCare is out. Of the 10,235 tests done, 6.2% were positive. It is interesting to note that 61% of those tests were in the 75+ age group who cannot access the free Government tests. Also interesting to note that people under 50 also used the test, some of whom tested positive. That means they don’t necessarily have bowel cancer but follow up was needed.

It is disappointing to hear that from next year BowelCare kits will only be available in our area by mail order. For 30 years, with Rotary’s assistance, the bowel cancer awareness program has operated as a Community service but the report says kit sales have gradually declined due to the introduction of the Australian Government program.

“Covid-19 and increased manufacturer’s costs have forced us to change to a Mail Order only program (except for the Central Coast of NSW which has administered the programme for our District) for 2021. Even though over the years substantial losses have resulted from running the program, it has been a great Community Service. Of course, we are not sure whether a 2021 Mail Order program will be successful and therefore, if we will be able to continue the service in future years.”

Cancercare Australia Director Rod Chippendale thanks clubs like ours which has been involved in this programme possibly from Day 1. “Without your help, and the help of others, it would have been impossible to successfully run the program.”

At Sunday’s Markets, market goers Chris and Pete Stranger chat with John Rungen.

RI’s Council on Resolutions

Interesting to note Rotary International’s Council on Resolutions which meets online each year recently considered  31 Resolutions proposed by clubs, districts, the RI Board of Directors, and the General Council or Conference of RIBI. Only 12 were adopted. The RI Board will consider all resolutions adopted by the Council.

One resolution adopted is to ask the RI Board to consider reintroducing professional development as a value of Rotary. It was proposed by the Rotary Club of Paris 20ème Service & Industrie and endorsed by their District 1660.

Another of particular interest to our Club is that a proposal to consider adding a fifth question to The Four-Way Test: – ‘Will it be sustainable?’ – was rejected. It was proposed by the Rotary Club of Mariefred in Sweden and endorsed by their District 2370.Maybe a future toast to the Rotary Club of Mariefred in Sweden…

Narooma Rotary Beacon 19 November 2020


Our DG DR Michael Moore

We join our District 9705 Governor Dr Michael Moore AM PhD on Zoom this Thursday night. Michael faces many challenges in trying to cover such a large District.

Michael is the former CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia and is a Past President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations. He is the chair of a number of health networks. Michael is a Distinguished Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra and Visiting Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, was formerly a teacher and consultant and served four terms as an elected member of the ACT Legislative Assembly from 1989 to 2001. Michael was Australia’s first independent Minister when he was appointed as Minister of Health and Community Care. In 2017 he was honoured by being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).


Last week’s meeting at Narooma Golf Club was pretty hectic as our meeting coincided with Narooma High School Year 12 Formal. Students in all their finery had to wait in the Seahorse Room before going up stairs. Because of a few delays we ended up in the 1st Hole room for our meeting. In all we had 16 members and guests in attendance, filling the room to capacity.

Martin Dunk at Cobargo BlazeAid

Our guest speakers Martin Dunk and Jude Turner gave us a wonderful insight into BlazeAid in Cobargo. Martin is a backpacker and is the current coordinator of the BlazeAid Cobargo site. He has been at Cobargo since August and will return to Sydney in a couple of weeks. Volunteering with BlazeAid is a popular option for backpackers because the volunteering is considered as ‘rural’ work, allowing them to extend their working holiday visa.

BlazeAid is a volunteer organisation formed by Kilmore East farmers, Kevin and Rhonda Butler after the Black Saturday fires of 2009. The role of BlazeAid is to help farmers rebuild fences as well as rebuild lives.

The BlazeAid Camp at Cobargo has operated since January. Since January more than 500 people have spent time there volunteering. Currently there are 21 volunteers in the camp with four jobs underway.

To date 351 farmers have registered for assistance and 104 properties have been completed. It is anticipated the BlazeAid will need at least another 12 to 18 months to complete all projects. When all work has been completed, it has been estimated that more than 4,900km of fencing will have been rebuilt. A great effort.

BlazeAid is a fascinating mixture of backpackers, grey (and not so grey) nomads and locals. Bega Valley Shire Council provides logistic support for the camp and many volunteer organisations such as Rotary assist in many other ways, including the supply of food and other supplies. Local businesses also strongly support BlazeAid. Bob Aston


Bay Rotary invites Royal Zoom

Interesting that Bay Rotarian Pam Thorpe invited Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, to a Zoom meeting with them to discuss the recent bushfires in their area and the Club’s efforts in the recovery. His Kensington Palace assistant responded:

“His Royal Highness was saddened when he heard of the devastation that was caused by the bush fires on New Years Eve 2019. The Duke was heartened to learn of efforts, the members of the Rotary Club have gone to in Mogo to help with the recovery efforts. Though you have been delayed in your efforts due to COVID-19 outbreak, it is encouraging to hear this has not deterred the members in wanting to complete the recovery of Mogo.

“The Duke was extremely grateful for your kind invitation having given careful consideration to the possibilities, however, I very much regret that his Highness reluctantly feels he has to decline.” He sent Bay Rotarians “his best wishes”.

Rotary plants help Cobargo Recovery

Bega Rotarians, Canberra-Weston Creek Rotarians and Brindabella Rotaractors joined the community day at Cobargo last Saturday with a big plant give-away to help the community recover its green environment.

Through the Cobargo Green Recovery team, Cobargo and Quaama residents affected by the summer bushfires could choose from about 4,000 trees and plants organised by the two Rotary Clubs. The plants were grown over winter by Rotarians and volunteers, many of whom were older and isolated at home and welcomed such an activity.

The Plant Replacement Project was led by Rotarian Margaret McIver with help from Canberra horticulturalist Paulene Cairnduff whose Phoenix Garden Recovery group helped re-green Weston Creek after their 2003 fires. 

The Cobargo Community worked for many months to make the day happen and almost everyone in the District seemed to appear. Headspace Bega and Red Cross were also there to offer support. A ‘welcome to country’ and songs in Yuin language started the day’s events. Bega Rotary provided a barbecue and there were fun events and live music for families.

When Cobargo’s re-building and infrastructure is nearly completed, some street trees will also be provided as part of this project.


PDG Phil Armstrong of Moruya Club and a long term supporter of our Club will be our guest speaker.


Bob’s Buzz

Peter Gorton’s talk on Electric Vehicles was quite fascinating, pointing the way to the future.

Hello Everyone

What a great presentation from Pete Gordon last week. His information about electric vehicles was most enlightening. I was really impressed with the way we engaged using Zoom. It does go to show that Zoom meetings are an effective way to interact in our changed world and may even provide opportunities to hook up with guest speakers from many parts of the world, not just our local community. Thank you to Frank and Ange for organising the event.

There will also be a Board meeting at the Golf Club commencing at 5:00pm on Thursday. I encourage all members who are not on the Board to attend if they wish.

Have a great week everyone.


5pm Board Meeting at Narooma Golf Club

6pm:  We are back at the Golf Club for a face-to- face dinner meeting. Our guest speaker is Martin Dunk. Martin is the coordinator of BlazeAid at Cobargo. Martin left university in 2011 and has lived in several different countries including France, Austria, Canada while working for the UK’s largest ski tour operator managing teams of people providing services to customers. After returning to the UK, Martin started looking for the next adventure and decided Australia was the place to be. He had been living in Sydney on the Northern Beaches and working in Surry Hills when COVID hit. To stay and extend his visa and Martin needed to participate in regional work and that’s how he found BlazeAid. He will tell us a little about BlazeAid and what they do, and how volunteers make it all happen.

Please let Rod know by Tuesday afternoon if you will/will not be attending or bringing guests. We need accurate numbers for the Golf Club.

Out and About

ROMAC’s wonderful work featured

Vincent and his mother at his first birthday, spent in Canberra

Great story recently about some of the wonderful work Rotary does in the Canberra Times and ABC.  It was about a baby Vincent Toto from the Solomon Islands whose oesophagus was not connected to his stomach. He had a gastrostomy tube put in when in the Solomon Islands so he could get fluids and nutrients but he needed more substantial medical care.

Rotary stepped in through the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC) programme to provide that care. ROMAC has saved dozens of Pacific Islanders by bringing sick babies and children to Canberra for critical care, which is donated by the hospital and the ACT government under a memorandum of understanding. Not all states and territories yet have that.

Vincent came to Australia in July 2019 when only two months old. He underwent three significant surgeries, dozens of gastroscopies and ended up in the neonatal intensive care unit on a few occasions. After 16 months of treatment in Canberra, he became well enough to eat. 

Vincent and his mother Cosinta Matesonia stayed with retired nurse and Rotarian Sandra Goldstraw when not in hospital. Mrs Goldstraw, a most remarkable woman, has housed, fed and clothed 23 Pacific Islander children, including Vincent, over the past 15 years. Vincent’s Mum was most appreciative of everyone who helped them especially the doctor, the hospital and Rotary, “without their help Vincent would have died”. They have now returned to the Solomon Islands.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant this programme has had to be halted, yet there are about 200 children waiting to come over for what is often life-saving surgery; some will die before they can have surgery.

Covid restrictions affect Moruya race kiosk

Business at Moruya Rotary’s Kiosk operation at the Melbourne Cup Race meeting at Moruya Jockey Club last week was very quiet because “as usual the members and guests brought along their picnic baskets and there was no public presence”. The Moruya bulletin reports “chips, pies and hamburgers were not on the menu or the minds of the great majority”. Fortunately their coffers were topped up income derived from the food vouchers handed out to the race course staff and most people associated with putting the day on. Peter Smith reported, “At the end of the day we can be happy that we have made a small but meaningful contribution to the local economy. We have spent money with local businesses, we have supported the Jockey Club with one of their major events of the year and by donating a substantial amount of bread and rolls to the women’s refuge we have assisted those living in the most difficult of circumstances.”

Interesting too that Moruya is also looking for someone to put up their hand to be President for 2021-2022.


We will ‘Zoom’ with District Governor Dr Michael Moore AM.

Our District 9705 is huge with a lot of ground to cover. Michael says he has enjoyed meeting many clubs over the past five months, sometimes face to face, sometimes by Zoom. In the New Year he and his wife Helen hope to meet those Rotarians he has met via Zoom actually in person (in a Covid safe way of course). Hopefully that will include us. He said in the last District newsletter that as he moves from club to club, he notes that many are using the changed year to look for opportunities to do things in different ways. Zoom meetings being one very good example.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 5 November 2020

Hello Everyone

Because we did not have a meeting last week Therese and I headed off to Newcastle for a few days to to catch up with family and friends. It was the first time we have been able to visit Therese’s mum since COVID-19 started to take hold in early March. When you think about it COVID-19 has impacted greatly on all of us this year, especially our ability to keep in touch with family. Hopefully we have turned the corner with infections in Australia at an all time low. I think it is also important to reflect on the hardships endured by those in Victoria during their hard lockdown, I am sure that their efforts have helped reduce the spread of the disease across the whole country.

The best thing about coming home on Saturday ? Taking the new NorthConnex Tunnel, it was fantastic and saved the frustration that we have had to endure in the past trying to navigate a congested Pennant Hills Road.

This week we welcome Pete Gordon to our Zoom meeting. Pete is retired, though he does work for fun as a business analyst in Defense. He has for many years had a keen interest in renewable energy and sustainability, and as an ex ‘petrol head’ the introduction of Electric Vehicles (EV) into the community.  Pete is a committee member of the Australian EV Association, and he carries out electrification of bicycles as a hobby, when not driving his own little BMW i3 EV.  Pete lives near Merimbula, in a self-built, fully sustainable, passive solar house, with 7kW of PV and a Tesla battery.

Friends of Rotary and members of the public getting our Beacon by email wanting to hear Pete are asked to email me at and I will send you an invitation.

have a great week everyone.