Narooma Rotary Beacon 28 October 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

Taliya Smith receives her Dorothy Hennessy OAM RESCA trophy from President Andrew, joined by Dot Hennessy herself, Ron Browne the Chair of RESCA, and Assistant Governor Adam de Totth

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).

Taliya Smith holds the trophy, shown here with her mother Christine Fisk and Narooma VRA President Jacqueline Smith.

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’.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 21 October 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

The Narooma Prostate Cancer Support Group key members are Narooma Rotary President Andrew Lawson, Mike Young, Julie Hartley, Dr Gundi Muller-Grotjan of Braveheart Healthcare and Narooma Men’s Shed with President Bernie Perrett and Geoff Broadfoot.

Well, what a difference seven days made, actually seeing each other in the flesh last Thursday after so long! I got a real feeling of optimism. It was also good to see the Golf Club like its old self too.

I had a good catch up with Bob Aston concerning the awarding of our 2022 Narooma Rotary Tertiary Scholarship. I am really looking forward to the selection process in December.

So, as we play catch up, the marketing of the Prostate Support Group is gathering pace and we are interacting with every medical practice and Men’s Shed from Eden to Batemans Bay.

This week’s meeting is going to be special and I really urge you all to come and bring partners and friends. We will belatedly present the Dorothy Hennessy Emergency Services Youth Scholarship Award trophy to Taliya Smith. Both Taliya and her mother will be our guests and I know tother members of the VRA will join us to cheer her on. If we can get the technology to work, we shall hopefully have Dot Hennessy herself zooming in.

The following week is our deferred Mental Health Hat Dinner to raise money for Mental Health Research. It is always great fun. More about that next week.

Finally, a reminder our AGM is on 9 December. Anyone looking to fill any role should get their application signed by a proposer. More information from John if necessary.

It is so good to be back and being able to push forward with our objectives and ideals for 2021/2022. So definitely, it’s onwards and upwards mes amis!


Taliya Smith

A dinner meeting on Thursday night at Narooma Golf Club when we will finally present Taliya Smith of VRA Rescue with her major 2021 Rotary NSW Emergency Service Community Award. Taliya was announced as the winner of the $1,000 Dorothy Hennessy OAM Emergency Services Youth Scholarship during the virtual presentation in August when Sydney was in lockdown. President Andrew was to have presented her with the scholarship award the next day, but by then we were also in lockdown.

So who is Dot? Dorothy Hennessy OAM initiated the Australian Rotary Emergency Services Community Awards. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Wollongong. The awards started 10 years ago in the Illawarra as a pilot, and are now held at a state and national level.  The community-nominated awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of emergency services workers and volunteers. The Scholarship in Dorothy’s name is awarded to an outstanding volunteer aged up to 25 for training and educational materials or equipment.

A reminder there is no market this Sunday. Our markets resume in November.

Out and About

This Sunday is World Polio Day

Rotarians across the world take action on World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds, and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world.

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent. Just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Eliminating polio in these countries presents unique challenges including political insecurity, highly mobile populations, difficult terrain and, in some instances, vaccine refusal and misinformation. With sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments and innovations that improve access to remote areas, Rotary is optimistic that polio can be eliminated. Rotary has contributed more than $2.2 billion to ending polio since 1985, including funds raised buy our Club.

It is worth remembering the infrastructure Rotary helped build to end polio is also being used to treat and prevent other diseases (including COVID-19) and create lasting impact in other areas of public health.

Spotted – Merimbula Rotarians at work

Merimbula Rotarians hard at work last week in Merimbula’s Rotary Park

While walking around Merimbula last week with the Dalmeny and Narooma Bushwalkers, Laurelle and crew came across several Merimbula Rotarians spreading topsoil on the lawns in their Rotary Park. They included PP Sue Jellis and current President Andy Thorp. A couple of weeks earlier, they’d spread mulch on the park’s raised flower beds. Their Club polo shirts also had their names.

What was impressive wandering around Pambula and Merimbula was the number of projects in the area that bore the names of the Clubs. 

NEXT WEEK Thursday 28 October

We will hold our Hat Day or ‘Lift the Lid’ on mental health dinner  at Narooma Golf Club on Thursday 28 October, still within Mental Health Month. Please invite family and friends and encourage them to wear a hat.  All proceeds raised on the night will go to Australian Rotary Health’s (ARH) Mental Health Research.

ARH is one of the largest independent funders of mental health research within Australia. Every year 1 in 5 people experience mental illness and one in three young people have had an episode of mental illness by the time they are 25 years old, and those figures are pre Lockdown.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 14 October 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

Well, I think we can say that, at last, we will have a better week!! As NSW has reached the 70% vaccination rates, we’re starting to see the end of the tunnel, and hopefully an eventual return to normality by December. We had an unscheduled Board Meeting on Wednesday to consider the implications, the Golfie reopening and our Club getting back to business. This was followed by an excellent Zoom meeting on Thursday.

Our first dinner meeting will be this Thursday 14th October. I urge you all to come so that we can see “our smiling faces” again! Going forward we shall be presenting Taliya Smith with her State Emergency Award on the 21st October probably Zooming into Sydney, and we have Dr Michael Holland speaking to us on 25th November.

As agreed last week, Ange presented a beautiful bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates and a nice bottle of wine to Iris Domeier and Frank Eden. Our thoughts are with them both.

We recommence our Business Breakfasts on 18th November with Jenn Black of Merivale as the guest speaker. We shall finally launch the Prostate Cancer Support Group on Tuesday 7th December, and it is hoped our Federal MP Kristy McBain will be there.

We plan to have the Markets back on 28th November featuring the Summer Safety Expo. Chris is currently ascertaining the new ‘Rules and Regs’ for the market from Service NSW.

Special thanks  to Mike Young and Julie Hartley for all they are doing with the Prostate Cancer Support Group, to Susanna Chung and Bob Aston for taking on the website going forward, and to Julie Hartley for volunteering to lead the Duck Race team. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by us all.

So, it will be great to be back. See you all hopefully on Thursday and it really is “onwards and upwards mes amis”!


Back to Narooma Golf Club for this Thursday’s dinner meeting. Remember you must be able to show evidence you are double vaccinated before you will be admitted to the Golf Club. Please ensure you let John Rungen know if you are coming or not. It’s 6 for 6.30pm.

The Week that Was

More on ‘Lift the Lid’ Day

Last Sunday (10th) was World Mental Health Day, when Australian Rotary Health (ARH) ‘Lifts the Lid’ on mental illness with ‘Hat Day’ to support research into the causes and treatment, remove the stigma and generate public support and awareness. 

Our Club will have its own Hat Day at Narooma Golf Club on Thursday 28 October, still within Mental Health Month. The Board encourages members to invite family and friends to the night and to wear a hat.  All proceeds raised on the night will go straight into ARH’s Mental Health Research.

Here’s one programme that has benefitted from ARH funding. Innovative research by Professor Eoin Killackey from the University of Melbourne tested an intervention examining work and educational outcomes for young people after an episode of psychosis. Since then, there are now close to 50 workers practicing the intervention in youth mental health settings around Australia.

“There are now many many young people with mental ill health who have been reconnected with their education and employment, who otherwise would not have been,” Professor Killackey said. “I’m thankful to Australian Rotary Health for investing in novel ideas in mental health research, for giving my work that crucial early support.”

ARH is one of the largest independent funders of mental health research within Australia. Every year 1 in 5 people experience mental illness and one in three young people have had an episode of mental illness by the time they are 25 years old.

Far South NSW Business Awards

Congratulations to all finalists and winners in this year’s Far South NSW Business Awards announced recently. Awardees from our immediate area were:

  • The Dromedary Hotel at Central Tilba won the Excellence in Small Business Award. Congratulations to Susan Gray and Jeremy Corfield and their team.
  • Keira Marchini of Narooma’s Montague Café was a finalist in the Employer of Choice category. You may remember that Keira nominated Raam Pemberton, one of her employees, for a Pride of Workmanship Award in May. As Narooma Chamber President Dr Jenny Munro put it, Keira not only provides excellent coffee but is also highly regarded by her employees.

From Moruya Rotary

Our District 9705 Environment Team is progressing steadily, and word will soon be spreading to encourage all clubs in our District to support the Environment. This is timely with news last month from RI President-Elect Jennifer Jones pledging US $97m in grant funding for Rotarians’ Environmental and anti-poverty projects next year.

Moruya’s recent zoom meeting with council last Thursday regarding Homeless hygiene was positive. Representatives from St Vinnies, the Salvation Army and Southern Care were also present. Council has researched the extent of the issue and has asked what level of support these groups can offer. Considering that hot showers are available in our neighbouring shires we are hoping that council will fill the gaps when they next meet.

On a Lighter Note on travel

NEXT WEEK Thursday 21 October

A dinner meeting at Narooma Golf Club when we will finally present Taliya Smith with her State Emergency Award.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 7 October 2021

This is a really short Beacon for obvious reasons, but next week’s will be packed full of Narooma Rotary news.


The Board met via Zoom last night to discuss ‘opening up’ and our programme for the rest of the Rotary year.

Tonight (Thursday 7 October) we will have Club Assembly at 7.30pm via Zoom. Hope you can join us so we can all discuss our plans for coming months. You will all no doubt have some valuable additional input.

The Week that Was

From Moruya Rotary

Moruya has 10 applicants for its Rotary Scholarships, seven from Moruya High School and three from Carroll College. Their interviews happen during October and the two winning applicants notified during November.

Eurobodalla Shire Council has also been in touch with Moruya Club regarding the Homelessness issue and Hygiene facilities. A zoom meeting this week with at least 15 participants from groups such as Anglicare, St Vinnies, Salvation Army, and the Red Cross will discuss possibilities. An Action Plan is on the Council’s agenda, and Moruya Club is looking forward to some positive results.

From Bega Rotary

Rotary Clubs in the Bega Valley Shire are of course already out of lockdown with business returning to near normal. Their meeting this Thursday is back at their normal meeting place the Grand Hotel. Guest Speaker is Sarah Bancroft, a youth officer with NSW Police who recently received the Rotary Inspirational Woman of the Year from Rotary Clubs of NSW.

Coming Up – Hat Night

Our Club will mark Hat Day on Thursday 28 October so please invite partners and friends and encourage them all to wear a hat, the crazier the better!

Hat Day is part of Australian Rotary Health’s Lift the Lid on Mental Illness campaign to raise vital funds for mental health research and create awareness about a topic that is not often talked about.

Although Australia Rotary Health’s annual Hat Day fundraiser is on 10 October (World Mental Health Day),Clubs are encouraged to hold their own Hat Day anytime during October which is Mental Health Month.

NEXT WEEK – Thursday 14 October

Our first Club Dinner for a while at Narooma Golf Club. Whoopee! 6 for 6.30pm.

Hope to see you there.