Well what a week! The highlight was obviously the opportunity to give Taliya Smith her Dorothy Hennessy OAM RESCA trophy after so long. It was good to see many of her VRA cohort there supporting her. It was a real honour for me, and it was special that we were able to Zoom in Dot Hennessy herself, Ron Browne the Chair of RESCA, and our good friend Assistant Governor Adam de Totth.
This week is also of great importance as we have the Hat Day for Mental Health dinner. So dig out your ‘mad hatters’ garb, and drag along friends and partners for this very worthy cause. As you know this is a cause to which I actively support during my presidential year. We are all aware of the major mental health issues with the bushfires, Covid lockdowns, and related youth suicide rates. I propose that we have a donation collection for the cause at the meeting and, subject to Board approval, that the Club match what is raised on the night, with proceeds going to Australian Rotary Health which invests heavily in this area.
As we move into November, we have an exciting program. Hopefully Susanna Chung will officially join us bringing her skills and enthusiasm, we recommence the Breakfast Meetings with Jenn Black of Merivale on 18November, and on the 25th we have Dr Michael Holland speaking about the new Moruya Regional Hospital. We cap it all off with the first market for far too long. So a full and exciting month!
Please do not forget our AGM on 9th December and our Christmas Party the following week.
Yesterday, I was involved in a conference of Area 6 Presidents led by our Area Governor Adam De Totth. It was great to catch up with my fellow presidents and realise that we had all ‘done it tough’, but there was a real renewed enthusiasm. We discussed International Women’s Day in March, and also the Environment program trickling down from RI to us via DG Leo. I am currently assessing both of these and shall discuss at the November Board.
So we are back! We have a good program ahead of us, and so it really is “onwards and upwards mes amis”!
THIS WEEK 28 October
Our Club is having its own ‘Hat Day’ at Narooma Golf Club to mark Australian Rotary Health’s ‘Lift the Lid’ on mental illness. Please bring family and friends to the night and encourage them to wear a hat, the zanier the better. A prize for the best hat. Please give numbers top John Rungen by Tuesday evening.
All proceeds raised on the night will support Australian Rotary Health’s research into the causes and treatment of mental health, remove the stigma and generate public support and awareness.
The Week that Was
The highlight was obviously President Andrew finally being able to present Narooma VRA Rescue operator trainee Taliya Smith with her trophy for the Dorothy Hennessy OAM Emergency Services Youth Scholarship, one of Rotary NSW’s 2021 Emergency Service Community Awards (RESCA).
We were joined at Narooma Golf Club by her very proud mother Christine Fisk and several VRA well-wishers. What’s more, the technology worked, allowing Dot Hennessy (in Sydney) and Rotary D9705 Area Manager Adam De Totth (in Canberra) and Ron Browne the Chair of RESCA to also join us via Zoom. Taliya thanked everyone involved for the great honour they had given her.
The awards were announced mid-August when Sydney was in lockdown. She was to receive her trophy the following day in Narooma, but by then Narooma, like the rest of NSW, was also in lockdown.
Nineteen-year-old Taliya joined VRA Rescue last year after the Black Summer bushfires when she decided she wanted to help her community and saw a post calling for VRA volunteers. She now works five days a week at Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Regional Health and Community Services and will soon start her Certificate 3 in Community Services. Taliya also works weekends at Narooma Home Timber and Hardware. Taliya will use the scholarship to support her training in indigenous mental health initiatives.
World Polio Day
Sunday 24 October was World Polio Day. Polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. Just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. The GPEI’s new strategic plan for 2022–26 aims to interrupt all polio transmission in Afghanistan and Pakistan by the end of 2023. However, the outlook for a continued vaccination programme in Afghanistan is uncertain and success also depends on stopping the virus in Pakistan.
Our Club would ‘normally’ hold a film night at the Kinema about this time each year to support the vaccination programme. The programme depends on full funding and political commitment; without that this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support these efforts, matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Out and About
Rotary supports our environment
Our District Governor Leo Farrelly has written to the 85 clubs in our District 9705 informing us of the launch of our Environmental Envoy Outreach program. Each club has been asked to nominate a Club Environment Representative.
From Moruya Rotary
Moruya Club last week introduced a ‘Happy Moments’ as an alternative to the Sergeant’s session, just like we did at Ange’s instigation some years ago, where Rotarians pay up to recognise their happiest occasion over the past week. There have been mentions in recent months of us reintroducing this session but so far nothing has happened. Is it still a goer?
There is no meeting next Thursday 4 November.
The following Wednesday (10th) there is a Board meeting. We then have a dinner meeting on Thursday (11th) with guest speaker our very own Julie Hartley on ‘This is My Life’.