Narooma Rotary Beacon 2 November 2023

Lynn’s Lines

FrançoiseCleret thanks Eurobodalla Shire Council General Manager for his talk last week on the challenges of his job.

Last week’s talk by Council’s General Manager Warwick Winn was great. I feel better knowing he is at the helm with his very capable hands to sort out Council’s operations. His apparent common sense and persistence and the recent appointment of a new financial director should hopefully reduce Council’s substantial debt.

Our 2024 Youth Exchange Scholar Lachie Penglase

How wonderful too to hear our 2024 Youth Exchange Scholar Lachie Penglase give his ‘debut’ prepared speech in Japanese and English on his life in Australia and our Club. He will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Ogaki, Gifu, Japan. Lachie also expressed his great appreciation to his wonderful counsellors from our Club Susanna Chung and Gordon Bentley.

Our District has thankfully extended the deadline for submissions on regionalisation by two weeks. This gives us the opportunity to discuss these issues at our Club Assembly on Thursday 9 November and come up with a consensus on how best to respond as a Club and partner with other clubs to attract new and younger members. This is our chance to have our say going forward. Please note the Club Assembly will not be at the Golf Club because of a major function; instead it will be in Club Narooma.

However, I still need everyone’s votes for the new regionalisation positions by Monday evening so I can forward a consensus by Tuesday 31st. I urge everyone to respond to John’s email from Friday regarding this vote (so far I have only received one response).
No meeting this Thursday. The Board will meet on Friday at 5.15pm at the Golf Club There is lots to go over.


Wednesday 1 November 6.30pm: Prostate Cancer Support Group at Narooma Golf Club

Thursday 2 November: No dinner meeting

Friday 3 November 5.15pm: Board Meeting in Narooma Golf Club

The Week that Was

Last Week’s talk by ESC General Manager

Last Thursday, Warwick Winn gave some candid insights into the challenges of being Eurobodalla Shire Council’s General Manager. He was appointed 12 months ago. He brought with him strong leadership experience, a strong planning background (he is a planner by profession), and a desire to connect with staff and the community. His experience includes in the UK and New Zealand as well as Australia.

Eurobodalla Shire Council’s General Manager Warwick Winn

His last gig was as General Manager of Penrith Council where the population is over 500,000. He said Penrith was quite a ‘well off’ Council, whereas Eurobodalla is currently in a precarious position being essentially “broke” with a deficit of $13.5m. “It is critical to address that debt,” he said. Council is trying to avoid the massive rates increases experienced in many other council areas. There are many challenges ahead, including a budget ‘reset’ and unfortunately, he said, “a handbrake on good ideas” that need to be funded. he said community groups have to realise that projects need to be pruned, prioritised and tracked. On housing affordability…Housing affordability in the Eurobodalla” is one of the worst in the state”. “We need to address it if we are going to employ service people.” Need diversity of housing and affordable rentals of adequate quality. Suggests need to have 30% of everything that’s built be affordable, “council has the land”.

Warwick is working on improving the attitude of staff to a more ‘can do’ attitude and be part of the community. He is a strong believer in keeping on going, one step in front of the other to achieve the vision with the team behind you. Council, he said, is keen to be open and transparent.

Out and About

More from the District Conference

The District’s campaign for the ‘Rotary Says NO to Domestic Violence’ initiative and ‘Yes to Positive and Respectful Relationships’ was launched at the District Conference. This awareness raising campaign to be run in conjunction with Police is across Rotary Clubs in Zone 8 – Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. More details next week.

Rob de Castella spoke about the Indigenous Marathon Foundation

One keynote speaker at the Conference was world champion marathon runner Rob de Castella AO MBE who spoke about the Indigenous Marathon Foundation he established in 2009. When the first four Aboriginal men trained for the New York Marathon in just six months, Rob discovered the programme was more powerful and life-changing than just running 42.2kms.The programme uses running to instil pride and demonstrate the incredible capacity Indigenous Australian men and women have to achieve. 

One example followed a call from an officer at a Western Australian correctional centre where all indigenous inmates had been following the progress of one of the programme’s first four participants who had come from the same town as them. They said, “If he can do it – so can we”. Rob helped set up a track within the correctional centre and of the 35 indigenous youth there, 25 ran the equivalent of a full marathon and the other 10 the equivalent of a half marathon. Rob said the feedback on the benefit was amazing.

PDG Phil Armstrong rated the District Conference one of the best District Conferences he had attended for a few years, and he would have been to most over the last 10-15 years. The next District Conference is scheduled for 25-27 October 2024 in Mittagong. Courtesy Moruya bulletin

Coming Up – Joint meeting in Moruya

We have been invited to a joint dinner meeting with RC Moruya and RC Narooma at Moruya Golf Club on Tuesday 21 November 6.30 for 7.00pm. This is to hear an update from the board of Carers’ Accommodation for the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital (CAERH) and to hear from an exceptional speaker Rotarian Walter Bock who has raised $14.4million over 20 years. 6.30pm. $25pp. This is an additional meeting that week as we already have a meeting planned for Thursday 23rd.

NEXT THURSDAY (9th): Club Assembly

Please note we will meet at Club Narooma instead of the Golf Club because of a big function at Narooma Golf Club.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 26 October 2023

Lynn’s Lines

President Lynn Hastings, DG Andrea Grosvenor
 and Chris O’Brien at the District Conference last weekend

So much has happened over the last 10 days. The Falcon car show was a great success. We set up a bit early, but from 9am on the van was busy all day!  Gross takings were just under $1,400.

The Business Breakfast talk by Vicki Abbott on the family business was a real eye opener to the world of fishing. From the good old simpler days, to the need for controls and fisheries fees  to reporting every fish caught, to restricting boats use due to exorbitant fuel costs, to expanding to Vanuatu and helping the emerging industry there, as well as making friends and helping out wherever  they can.

Three of us went to the District 9705 Conference in Queanbeyan – Ange, Chris and me. Speakers and food were fantastic. Lots of information on a wide variety of issues. One is Rotary partnering with NSW Police to raise awareness and advocate against domestic and family violence with a special campaign on 1st December – “Together we say yes to respectful relationships”. More details to come

Our Sunday Market was another success even with a few windy gusts thrown in. Very good results: gate $995, gross van $695, wishing well $77.55. Thanks to our Rotary friends who helped out at the weekend, as well as our Rotary team.

Last but not least…. our Food Van Grant has come through, thanks to Bendigo Bank’s sorting. The funds are being transferred as we go to print. Congratulations everyone! Thank you Laurelle, Francoise and David.

First shift in the van was the Club’s great friend Wayne Redman and Gordon Bentley, with Gero Mitchell (taking the photo)

On another note, we need as a Club to make our thoughts on regionalisation known to District and vote on delegates before the end of the month. There have been several notes on this issue in Beacons over recent months, plus another in this week’s Beacon. Deadline is this Friday.

Acting Market manager David McInnes looks on while friend Liz, Francoise and John in the BBQ gazebo get on with it.

THIS THURSDAY 26th October

A dinner meeting with guest speaker Eurobodalla Shire Council General Manager Warwick Winn. Warwick will speak about his background and plans for Eurobodalla Shire. Please invite friends and family; many will no doubt have a few questions. It promises to be a top night. Please make sure you let John know by Tuesday early afternoon if you are coming/not coming.

The Week that Was

Business Breakfast – Vicki Abbott

Vicki Abbott was guest speaker at last week’s Business Breakfast, chaired by David McInnes

What a great talk by Vicki Abbott from Narooma Seafood Direct at last Thursday’s Business Breakfast. Vicki told the story of the family’s fishing business from her father Des starting in Narooma in 1950 to now diversifying to include Vanuatu. It was so fascinating we almost went over time!

Vicki remembered as a five-year-old being on the boat with Des, helping with the catches. Des also had the ‘Island Run’ taking supplies out to lighthouse keepers and their families on Montague Island (the keepers only left the Island about once a year!)

Expanding the family business recently to Vanuatu was prompted by a loss of fishing areas, high costs and low prices. Vicki said unfortunately, as with many other industries, there is a general lack of young people interested in entering the industry.  Three small boats owned by the business are there now, not only for fishing; one also provides a service transporting bodies between islands!

The Abbotts are helping Vanuatu fishermen better their local fishing industry with more effective equipment, safety equipment and staying up to date with technology.

They employ local fishermen in Vanuatu and work closely with their Fisheries. At the moment they are selling domestically but are waiting on an export licence. Then the part of Vanuatu catch will be imported directly into Australia. She said 85% of the fish purchased at Sydney Fish Markets is now imported. Rachel McInnes

Three Rotarians go to school

Julie Hartley and Gero Mitchell with some of Narooma Public School’s Year 6 students enjoying the Smart City STEAM Project which our Club helped sponsor.

Six months ago, our Club donated $500 to Narooma Public School towards the $2,000 cost of kits for the Sammat Smart City STEAM Project. This targets 15 Year 6 High Performance Gifted Education students. The Micro:bit project is designed to help students get started with exploring the world of electronics with a focus on automation and the Internet of Things (IOT). 

Julie Hartley, Gero Mitchell and Laurelle Pacey took up the School’s invitation to the Club to check out the Project.  Each Monday for the last few terms, students have worked on the Project. The students have designed, engineered, collaborated and programmed their projects to fit in with the ‘Smart Home’ design. Students have designed and automated sections in their homes such as automatic lights, smart intruder detection and a working fan. This Thursday, these 15 students will go to Sunshine Bay Public School for an exhibition with a few other schools to showcase their projects and participate in a range of STEM challenges.

Teacher Sara Sadler thanks the Club for our support that enabled this project to take place. 

Julie Hartley and Gero Mitchell with more of Narooma Public School’s Year 6 students enjoying the Smart City STEAM Project which our Club helped sponsor. They used electronics that gave a warning when a prisoner escaped from their prison.

Out and About

Moruya Rotary on Regionalisation

Moruya Rotarian Steve Picton was tasked with being Moruya’s ‘Expert’ on Regionalisation. He reported to Moruya Club last Tuesday. A summary of his report is published in their current newsletter, printed below.

RI Zone 8 covers Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. We are a trial zone set up by RI to pilot a new format for clubs. Why? Because the present arrangement of clubs and Districts is beset with clubs closing as members age and fail to attract young business and professional people.

Steve set us a series of questions. What are our strengths and weaknesses? What are our biggest challenges? From Charter member Michel to most recent member David there was agreement that our strength lies in our camaraderie. We can still undertake big projects but we are not well understood by our community.

So one answer is that we should form a Regional Community Group (RCG). A likely grouping would include Moruya, Narooma, Batemans Bay and potentially Ulladulla, plus any new clubs in that geographic area likely to be formed. It is too early in the planning stage to say how this might work — joint meetings, perhaps with zoom input? And, of course, shared projects.

We then considered secondary RCGs, not bound by geography of the first. An obvious one was that we would like to be involved with Rotoract clubs; another that our work on trachoma might be shared with clubs around Australia.

In the afternoon of Steve’s presentation, an email arrived from the Pilot team, stressing the need to make our views known to them, and to take part in the election of officers who will head the various bodies involved in the complex plan. The suggested timing is very tight.

Ange updates on Nepal

On 12 November, 20 of us will head to the village of Maidi in central Nepal for three weeks to assist with the Nepal Friendship Project under Project Leader Mary Brell of Orange.  This ongoing RAWCS project will include continuing teacher training to villagers plus assistance in agriculture and health issues. It is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak (District 9705).

Key is empowering local villagers to enhance their subsistence farming. Last year some villagers were provided with water tanks ensuring readily accessible water to enable them to grow other nutritious during the dry season; during the wet season when they grow millet, rice and corn. Funds this year will target providing more water storage tanks to the 10-14 households still to receive tanks. The group includes health professionals, teacher trainers and an optometrist to check for cataracts, as well as educational resources.

Dream cricket will be played with disabled kids, many of whom are blind and love the game. All of us are invited (and expected) to play.

The highlight this year is the $20,000 raised by the five Yr 12 kids from Wellington. Mary has said Wellington RC was dying but these kids, currently doing their HSC, inspired the local Rotary Club and the entire community got behind them and revitalised the whole town. Ange Ulrichsen


Wednesday 1 November 6.30pm: Prostate Cancer Support Group at Narooma Golf Club

Thursday 2 November: No dinner meeting being first Thursday in the month

Friday 3 November 5.15pm: Board Meeting in Narooma Golf Club

Narooma Rotary Beacon 19 October 2023

Lynn’s Lines

Australian Rotary Health Vice Chairman Stephen Humphries was thanked by Chris O’Brien.

This is a short Beacon to get it away early to promote everything that is happening in this busy next 10 days.

Joy Macfarlane models her winning creation.

But first, Thursday’s Hat Night to ‘Lift the Lid on Mental Health was a lovely evening with lots of visitors and happy faces. Our guest speaker Australian Rotary Health (ARH) Vice Chairman Stephen Humphries was excellent, despite not being able to put his presentation up on the screen. We learned many interesting facts about Australian Rotary Health and its many activities, especially its research and the amazing results from some of the research done over the years. Also that our club has donated over $31,000 to ARH over the years. We also spoke about having the Christmas dinner on Thursday 14th December at Bodalla Pub.; it’s a work in progress.

A reminder it’s the Falcon Car Show this Sunday 15th and we’re catering for breakfast and lunch.

Then it’s our Business Breakfast on Thursday. Three of us are then off to the District Conference in Queanbeyan, and then the Markets on Sunday 22nd.

Thanks everyone, members, partners and friends for pitching in to allow us to pull all this off. What a great team.


Thursday 19th – is the next Narooma Rotary Business Networking Breakfast 7am sharp (members encouraged to come early to help set up). Our speaker is Vicki Abbott of Narooma Seafood Direct. She will outline how their family business has diversified by going international and establishing a start-up company in Vanuatu called ‘Western Pacific Fishing and Trading’, trading as ‘Vanuatu Wild’. It promises to be a fascinating talk.  Bookings have closed. Please contact David who will chair this Business Breakfast with any questions. It is at Narooma Surf Club (upstairs).

Sunday 22nd October – our monthly markets with all available hands on deck. Here’s hoping for another beautiful day.

The Week that was

We ‘Lifted the Lid’ on Mental Health

Thursday’s meeting started with a moving International Toast by John Rungen to the Rotary Foundation and its work in assisting people affected by war and humanitarian hardships in Ukraine, and other places. Rotarians everywhere are concerned with the loss of life and ongoing hardships.

John Cunningham, left, jusge Anne Colquitt, and Joy macfarlane with their reir respective creations

Local milliner Anne Colquitt judged the hats, awarding prizes to guests Joy Macfarlane and John Cunningham, most worthy recipients.

Australian Rotary Health (ARH) Vice Chairman Stephen Humphries gave an extensive summary of ARH’s achievements over the years, particularly the results of some research. The ground breaking results from its first major research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome resulted in the savings of many lives. Another was the discovery of an increasing amount of a particular protein in urine as Motor Neurone Disease  progressed, giving an excellent indicator of this insidious disease’s progression. It was interesting to hear that the ARH Board determines funding availability while another independent committee of 12 eminent scientists selects what projects will be funded.

Since 2000, ARH has funded mental health research; since 2012 the focus narrowed mainly the mental health of young people. Since August 2022, that research has particularly focussed on children 0-12 years. In 2023, about 45% of the $1.9m in ARH funding has been allocated to mental health research in children up to 12. More details on the ARH website.  ARH is one of the largest independent funders of mental health research in Australia.

ARH also provides a number of scholarships each year; Stephen noted that 20% of Aboriginal medical practitioners studied with assistance from ARH.


It’s a dinner meeting with guest speaker Eurobodalla Shire Council General Manager Warwick Winn. Warwick will outline his background and his plans for Eurobodalla Shire. Please invite friends and family. It promises to be a top night.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 12 October 2023

Lynn’s Lines

Our fellow Rotarian and dear friend Robyn Miller is in Moruya Hospital. She can be reached on her mobile should members like to call to say ‘hello’. We’ve sent her flowers and a card.

We’re still working through just how to access the food van grant; a work in progress. While eligible for charity status, it turns out we can’t meet the strict criteria for Donor Gift Recipient status. We are exploring other avenues.

This Thursday is our fun Hat Night to raise awareness and funds for Mental Health. Please everyone invite friends and partners to join us. Our guest speaker is Australian Rotary Health Vice Chairman Stephen Humphries. Prizes on the night (see more below).

The Falcon Car Show is on this Sunday and we’re doing the catering – breakfast and lunch. If you can join us please let John know to put you down on the roster. Many hands make light work!

The following weekend three of us are looking forward to attending the District Conference at Queanbeyan – Chris, Ange and myself. It coincides with the Markets; it’s really wonderful how so many members and friends of Rotary have stepped up to help out at the markets. Thank you everyone.

Two events coming up… a group of us will walk the Rotary Ringlands Track along the foreshore of Wagonga Inlet on Thursday 26 October for a reccie. Meeting at 9am if anyone would like to join us. Details to come.

Also mark your calendars for Sunday 19 May 2024. The Board has approved us proceeding with a Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Details to come.

Hope to see you on Thursday AND with an appropriate hat!


Thursday 12 October 6 for 6.30pm: Dinner Meeting

Our Club is hosting a HAT NIGHT to ‘Lift the Lid on Mental Health’, October being Mental Health Month. Our guest speaker is Australian Rotary Health Vice Chairman Stephen Humphries who will talk about Australian Rotary Health’s investment each year in ‘breakthrough’ research into Mental Health.  He will be accompanied by his wife Judith.

Please invite family and friends AND encourage them to wear a hat, either favourite, most eye-catching, or wildest.. Prizes will be given. Hopefully you’ve let John know if you’re coming and how many guests you are bringing by noon Tuesday.

Lift the Lid on Mental Illness is Australian Rotary Health’s national annual fundraiser for mental health research. All money raised goes directly to mental health research. Each year approximately 1-in-5 Australians will experience a mental illness and in order to help future generations of young Australians, we need to look ahead through research and find out how we can prevent this type of illness occurring.

This Sunday 15 October: Our Club will be catering for breakfast and lunch at the Early Falcon Nationals weekend on NATA Oval. The gathering  is open to XK XL XM XP 1960 to 1966 Ford Falcons and the US equivalent for Club members and private owners. If you can join us, please let John know to put you on the roster. We will be working out of the food van.

Out and About

Moruya‘s EndTrachoma Health Care Bags

Moruya Rotary had a surprise telephone call from FAFT (Families As First Teachers) liaison person Rachel about the health care bags provided by Moruya Rotary that went to the community of Ampilatwatja in Northern Territory. She told Moruya how excited the children especially were with their bags and contents – they take them everywhere; they asked if they could send a video and drawings  to Moruya for the children of Bodalla Primary. The Bodalla students had been asking if their pictures had arrived.


The next Narooma Rotary Business Networking Breakfast is next Thursday 19 October 7am. Our speaker is Vicki Abbott of Narooma Seafood Direct on how their family business has diversified by going international and establishing a start-up company in Vanuatu called ‘Western Pacific Fishing and Trading’, trading as ‘Vanuatu Wild’. It promises to be a fascinating talk.

Hopefully you can make it. If you haven’t already booked, please do so by Friday 13 October by emailing Laurelle  Should you want breakfast, it’s $10.

If you book but then find in the days leading up to it you can’t make, PLEASE contact David who will chair this Business Breakfast. It is at Narooma Surf Club (upstairs) 7am sharp. Bookings essential.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 5 October 2023

Lynn’s Lines

Moruya VP Allan Veness relishes not handing over the Cinders Trophy to our VP David McInnes, watched by quiz master Phil.

We’ve had another fun and productive week. On Tuesday we joined Moruya Rotarians in Moruya for our annual great Cinders Trivia Challenge. While our group was disappointed to lose by just one point it was a fun evening, as they always are.

Then on Thursday we had our Special General Meeting to approve the new Constitution and By-Laws as requested by District. We also incorporated clauses aiming for charity status and a Public Fund for our Scholarship and Community projects. This would have to have been the quickest meeting of Narooma Rotary on record, and the decision was unanimous. So good. Some stayed for a meal after in the Bistro.

That was just the first of several steps we have to take before we can receive the grant for the new Van and more donations to keep our scholarship programme going by offering donations as tax deductible. Each step needs approval from the ‘powers that be’, so a few hurdles still ahead of us.

No meeting this Thursday. Friday is the board meeting – John will circulate the agenda soon.


Wednesday 4 October 6.30pm: Prostate Cancer Support Group, Narooma Golf Club

Thursday 5 October: No Meeting being first Thursday in the month

Friday 6 October 5.15pm:  Board Meeting, Narooma Golf Club

The Week that Was

Cinders celebrates 30th anniversary

Moruya VP Allan Veness announced on Tuesday this was the 30th anniversary of Cinders and then explained its origins. “It is 30 years since Narooma Rotarian Paul Rayner, a very English supporter of the England team in the then Ashes series, suggested a yearly contest between our two clubs, and what better name for that contest than ‘Cinders’,” he said.

“Each battle ended with the burning of the quiz papers in a small wooden bowl. That bowl disappeared in the fire [at the then Lasallian Centre Motel in 1999,AND did not coincide with a Cinders event!] which burned much of Narooma’s stuff, and it was Narooma who provided the present large shield.”

We rounded up a strong team of 23 Rotarians and friends (including former Batemans Bay Rotary President Matthew Thomas) to do battle against Moruya who had similar numbers. Moruya quiz master Phil produced a fine mix of questions with the additional ‘sevens’ continuous quiz (seven deadly sins, the seven wonders of the ancient world, the seven actors who have played James Bond, and events in the heptathlon. Julie Hartley won the Heads ‘n’ Tails.

However scores from only three of the four Narooma tables were counted; the fourth Narooma table with four Narooma and two Moruya Rotarians was not counted… perhaps the maths was too messy… When the scores were added up, Moruya won by ONE point. The lead photo says it all, a fitting end to a very enjoyable evening. Thank you to everyone who took part.

[Unfortunately the fourth Narooma Table of Gordon Bentley, Steve Deck, Pat Reid and Laurelle Pacey plus Phil Armstrong and Michel Nader from Moruya Rotary didn’t make it onto the photographer’s list as well as the scoring sheet!]

Batemans Bay hears from trainee medics

Last Thursday Bay Rotarians heard from several medical students who are doing a rural placement at Batemans Bay Hospital, arriving in March and leaving in November. One of the students had just returned from Tennant Creek and was full of enthusiasm about the medical services there. However location makes it difficult and some blood tests have to go on the ‘Bush Bus’ to Alice Springs but the time it takes plus lack of refrigeration makes it difficult.

Out and About

Moruya reports on Regionalisation

There are 527 Districts in RI. The plan is that districts could be replaced by say, 20 to 40 regions. We are in one of the zones selected to pilot the change. Moruya President Derek, Secretary Vere Gray and Steve Picton have begun studying the plan and Steve will outline to Moruya members what is involved in his talk at their meeting on 17 October. A small number of Rotarians are working hard in establishing the new format. There is a website which should keep us up to date:

There are to be nine Members of a Regional Council and we will have one vote, which President Derek will exercise on our behalf. Inherent in the plan is the ability of Clubs to get together with other clubs to form Community Groups. There are Primary Community Groups and Secondary Community Groups. Once we see any advantages, presumably Moruya, Batemans Bay and Narooma would form a Primary Group. The end of October is suggested as the time for the groups to be formed. (Taken from Moruya newsletter)


Thursday 12 October 6 for 6.30pm: Dinner Meeting – our HAT NIGHT to ‘Lift The Lid On Mental Health’.  Our guest speaker is Australian Rotary Health Vice Chairman Stephen Humphries who will talk about Australian Rotary Health’s investment each year in ‘breakthrough’ research into Mental Health.  He will be accompanied by his wife Judith. Please invite family and friends AND encourage them to wear a hat. Prizes will be given. Local milliner Ann Colquitt has kindly agreed to again be our judge.

John reminds us all members are expected to attend all meetings. By 1pm Tuesday, please confirm with him if you are coming and any guests you may be bringing. If you aren’t coming, please send an apology. Hope to see you then.