Narooma Rotary Beacon 18 April 2019

Rod’s Ramble

Hello Rotarians

President Rod presented Rotary Pride of Workmanship Awards on Thursday to Kimberley Clunne (IRT Dalmeny), front left, Jo Donkin (Dalmeny Long Day Child Care Centre), Jeannie Willoughby (Estia Health Dalmeny), Ria Manolias (Bodalla Dairy Shed), Karen Grindley (IRT Home Care); Melissa Burke (Tilba Real Dairy), back left, Ali Elmasri (Rapley’s Mid-town Quality Meats), Scott Curry (Will’s Water Worx). Will Farrell, back right, collected the award on behalf of Daniel Smith. Elise Dixson was also unable to be there.

What a great night last week at the Pride of Workmanship presentations. Laurelle has the details below but I would like to congratulate Laurelle and her helpers for firstly attracting 10 awardees and secondly putting on a great night. Thanks also to Lynda Ord for a great job as MC.

At the Board meeting last week, I am proud to report that we committed funds that achieved most of my fundraising targets for the year. These were $3,000 to each of our Tertiary Scholarship Fund, Rotary Health and The Foundation ($1,500) and Polio Plus ($1,500). These donations are a testament to everyone who has sold or bought raffle tickets, worked at the Markets and cooked or cleaned at other BBQs or participated in other events.

We have one target to meet and that is $3,000 to local charities. I have one more raffle to run, a quilt made by my very clever wife which I will start after Easter. Monies raised will go towards the $3,000 local charities target.

Re: 2019-2020 – please consider carefully

At the last Board meeting, we discussed options for filling the President vacancy for 2019-2020. Our Assistant District Governor Allan Russell said he had seen another club rotate the presidency every three months so that a 12-month commitment was not required. So that would mean four presidents over the year.

The Board agreed to this in principle and there was some interest from Board members to nominate. It was agreed that we should put the idea to members at our Club Assembly on 2 May. If agreed, we would also seek nominations as soon as possible. The Board is still happy to take an expression of interest for the full year up until 2 May so, if you can make the commitment for a full year, please contact me ASAP.

See you Thursday. Happy Easter to those already away or unable to attend.

This Week

Laurelle Pacey will talk about how Narooma has remembered those who have gone to war over the years. Please bring your friends!

The Week that was

Last week, 10 local businesses recognised valued employees at our annual Pride of Workmanship Awards at a special dinner at Narooma Golf Club. Lynda Ord was our MC.

“This is a great night, always so uplifting, and a highlight of our Rotary year,” she said. “It’s our version of the Logies or the Academy awards but without all the carry-on. It’s a chance for employers across the broad spectrum of businesses and service providers in our community to publicly recognise key staff members for their contribution and excellent work across all aspects of their job, and how much that’s appreciated. Our community as well as these particular businesses benefit greatly from what they do.”

The great strength of these awards is it’s not a competition, so everyone nominated is a winner. We couldn’t do these awards without the support of all the various businesses, some who come on board most years.

Those who received awards this year were:

  • Elise Dixson (Anton’s Café)
  • Ria Manolias (Bodalla Dairy Shed)
  • Daniel Smith (Dalmeny Electrical & South Coast Lighting)
  • Jo Donkin (Dalmeny Long Day Child Care Centre)
  • Jeannie Willoughby (Estia Health Dalmeny)
  • Kimberley Clunne (IRT Dalmeny)
  • Karen Grindley (IRT Home Care)
  • Ali Elmasri (Rapley’s Mid-town Quality Meats)
  • Melissa Burke (Tilba Real Dairy)
  • Scott Curry (Will’s Water Worx)    

Rotary Christmas Races 2019

The beneficiary of our joint fund raising with Batemans Bay and Moruya  Rotary clubs and the Moruya Jockey Club at the Christmas Races will be Yumaro and Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels. The aim will be to raise at least $15,000 towards a people mover bus for use by both organisations.


Narooma Rotary Beacon 11 April 2019


This Thursday is the club’s annual Pride of Workmanship Awards, one of the most prestigious nights in our Club’s calendar. President Rod will be presenting 10 awards to employees nominated by their employer because of their outstanding approach, attitude, dedication and commitment to their job.

There will be 50 people all up, including Rotarians. Lynda Ord will be our MC. Should be a great night. It’s normal time – 6 for 6.30pm. Cost is $35 for a two-course meal (choice of two dishes each course).


Last Week

Ang Ulrichsen and Sandra Doyle with Narooma High students at RYDA last Tuesday.

Sandra Doyle gave an interesting account of their day with students from Narooma High last Tuesday for the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) at Moruya Jockey Club. Sandra, Ang Ulrichsen and Geoff Robin were our representatives. Batemans Bay students were also there that day.

This was the second day of this year’s RYDA. All up, 240 Year 11 students attended this year from the Eurobodalla’s five high schools. There were six different sessions presented by qualified and experienced presenters to small groups of students.

This is the 12th year RYDA has been held as a joint project of the Eurobodalla Rotary Clubs; during that time more than 2,200 local students have benefited.

RYDA Eurobodalla coordinator Neil Simpson of Batemans Bay Rotary paid tribute to the many Rotary and community volunteers, presenters and school staff who support this program each year:

  • Coastal Auto Group each year provides a car for the stopping demonstration
  • NSW Police each year provides three officers and a highway patrol car for the two days
  • Moruya Jockey Club allows us to use their premises free of charge each year
  • Our presenters come from Rotary, two local learn-to-drive schools, NSW police, Eurobodalla Shire Council or the community. Lunch for everyone is donated and prepared by Moruya Rotarians. It is truly a joint effort!

Neil Simpson also managed to get extensive media coverage for RYDA; it was also a great promotion of Rotary. He said nearly 50,000 students across Australia and New Zealand are expected to attend a RYDA course this year organised by Rotary.

While there are several different driver education courses available, he said RYDA is considered best practice, most current and very relevant to learner drivers. The next local RYDA is 30-31March 2020.

An added bonus last week was welcoming back from Antarctica and Galapagos Islands our much travelled Charmaine White. She gave an impromptu talk about her travels. Fascinating.

Rotary Emergency Services Community Award

Do you know anyone from one of NSW Emergency Service Agencies who perform Community Service above and beyond the call of their normal duties?  Nominees must be appointed as paid or unpaid (volunteer) members of either Fire + Rescue NSW, Marine Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance Service, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service or the Volunteer Rescue Association.

Check out Tuesday’s email from Bob Aston for more information.


Laurelle Pacey will talk about how Narooma has remembered those who have gone to war over the years. Please bring your friends!

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.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 28 February 2019

Rod’s Ramble

Rotary President Rod Walker, Monty’s Volunteer Coordinator Di White, Chris O’Brien, Lana Swilks, Ang Ulrichsen, Helen Smith, Robyn Miller, Maureen Trees.

I really enjoyed hearing about Monty’s Place last week and was particularly interested in how the simple act of providing a meal can add so much to people’s wellbeing. The way Monty’s provides access to other services was also impressive. I am sure we will continue to assist where we can.

This week I am off to Canberra working and Laurelle will be in the Chair. I am working at the Royal Australian Mint where all our coins are made. No samples are given and security is intense. On a previous occasion I inadvertently tried to go out with a 20 cent coin rattling around in the bottom of my bag. Everything had to be emptied out to find the coin and I had to sign three forms detailing the age of the coin and other details.

On Saturday, President Elect David and I are going to a Foundation Seminar in Ulladulla. This is a prerequisite for any District Grant. Perhaps  we could assist Monty’s with a District Grant? Is there anyone prepared to follow this up? If you are give me a call to discuss.

Don’t forget Clean Up Australia this Sunday morning (3rd March). Laurelle has the details.


Our guest speaker is Narooma High Science Teacher Gayle Allison accompanied by several members of Narooma High’s robotics team, the Robo Rebels. Gayle is the Robo Rebels’ coach.  The Robo Rebels started in 2015 and are still going strong with entries in competitions and running robotics workshops, all of which provides them with a fascinating insight into many aspects of science. Should be a fascinating evening.


Di White of Monty’s Place


What an illuminating talk by Di White last week about Narooma’s Monty’s Place where Di is the Volunteer Coordinator. Three of our members, Robyn (Monty’s treasurer), Chris and Ange, are volunteers.

Monty’s started in early 2013, largely modelled on the success of Ricky’s Place in Bega and opened for its first meal in the Uniting Church Hall in October 2013. Over the five years since then it’s really come together and gained a lot of support from across the community including donated equipment. SHASA (South coast Health and Sustainability Alliance), and MESA (Micro Energy Systems from Bodalla) for example, will donate the solar system; Smiley McGill and Dave Swilks built the deck which provides a popular open space where some prefer to be.

Each Wednesday, a two-course meal is served to Monty’s guests who cover a broad spectrum of people, from lonely older people, Koori elders, to those struggling to make ends meet, homeless people, some with mental health issues, and includes some young people particularly over summer. They average 70-80 meals a week, with 117 the most served to date. Monty’s also enables people to share a meal out with friends which they may not be able to afford to do otherwise. People often give a donation. A lot of produce and other goods are donated.

Di said their guests feel comfortable in this environment; many build up relationships with other guests and with the volunteers. It’s also about networking; Monty’s also assists them in accessing certain services including social welfare, Pathways and women’s wellbeing

They now have 40 volunteers on their books including some Koori people with 22 places on the roster every week; some come every week, others every fortnight. Di said she is proud to be their coordinator

They have a big project coming up  to extend the kitchen storage area which will cost about $50,000. They will get 40%of funding from a Stronger Communities grant but will be looking to the community to raise the rest.

Monty’s is a stand-alone organisation but for insurance purposes is under the umbrella of the Uniting Church. Monty’s has also helped the Uniting Parish, particularly through its Centre in the old manse next door. Interestingly. Cooma is looking at setting up something similar to Monty’s using Monty’s as a model.

Last week’s International Toast

Mike Young proposed our international toast to the Rotary Club of Port Vila. Port Vila is the capital and largest city in Vanuatu, a bustling port town with hotels, restaurants and markets. Mike had lots of interesting details about the club and the area. 

Frank on new renewable energy target

Our Renewable Energy Supremo Frank Eden

Our Renewable Energy Expo instigator Frank Eden reported on a packed meeting he had attended at Tathra earlier that week which resolved  that Tathra adopt the target of 100% Renewable Energy by 2030. A jubilant Frank said the meeting, chaired by CEFE President and Tathra resident Dr Matthew Nott, determined that this was an achievable target.Guest speakers included BVSC Mayor Kristie McBain, former Liberal leader Dr John Hewson, Professor Andrew Blakers from ANU’s Centre for Sustainable Energy, and Martin Poole CEO of Epuron, a company that has been instrumental in rolling out wind and solar farms across the country.

Clean Up Australia this Sunday

For those who volunteered, please meet at Mill Bay at 9am when you can register and pick up bags and gloves etc from Laurelle who is our site supervisor. No person can take part unless they are officially registered.

So far we have Laurelle, Ang, Mike, Rod, Gordon and Di as our volunteers, with Steve doing Lewis’ Island to the bridge. Laurelle is looking to extend our site from the bridge to the Bar Beach wetland because a recent ‘recie’ showed some other community-minded people had already done a good job along the boardwalk.

Don’t forget hat, sunglasses (also offers eye protection from low branches etc), sunscreen and long sleeves, sturdy shoes and water. If you have one of those long ‘picker-upperers’. Please also bring.

A word from our dear friend PP Ted Bladwell

I noted in the 7th February Beacon, that Rolf Gimmel has been accepted as President Elect of the Club for the 2020-21 Rotary year. I had the pleasure of proposing and inducting Rolf into the Club during my term as Narooma President and am aware of the contribution Rolf has made to Rotary for the past 10 years. I am proud to have introduced Rolf into the Club. Congratulations Rolf!! PP Ted Bladwell PHF, President Narooma Club 2008-2009

From the Moruya bulletin on NYSF

Moruya Rotarians recently heard from two local students who they presumably sponsored to the recent National Youth Science Forum (NYSF). Both students described the experience as life changing, not just in the contact with like-minded students, but also in helping them decide on their future careers.

Bridget Lunn of Moruya High attended NYSF in Brisbane. It took her 24 hours travel by road to reach NYSF at Brisbane University. Her emphasis was on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and she particularly enjoyed visits to medical research laboratories. William Wall of St Peter’s College at Broulee attended the NYSF in Canberra, living in ANU student accommodation. His interest in all things scientific was met by visits to the ANU’s computer complex, CSIRO and a chance to speak to scientists at the Hadron Collider at Switzerland’s CERN.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 21 February 2019


Rod’s Ramble

The highlight of the week was the Joint Meeting at Moruya last Wednesday to hand over the proceeds of the Race Day fundraiser. Eight of us were there to see the Race Day Committee present Muddy Puddles with $20,000. See below for full details.

We celebrated Rotary’s 114th birthday

Cutting Rotary International’s cake celebrating 114 years at last week’s joint meeting at Moruya were Moruya Rotary President Ward Hack, Batemans Bay President Alan Russell and Narooma President Rod Walker. The ‘knife’ was a 150-year-old Royal Navy dirk presented to junior officers, purchased by Ward, a former Australian Naval officer.

This Saturday 23 February marks Rotary’s 114th birthday, but we celebrated it a little prematurely at Moruya last week. It’s worth remembering our humble beginnings.

Rotary was the world’s first service club and was founded on 23 February 1905 when lawyer Paul Harris and three friends met in a small office in downtown Chicago. These men wanted to rekindle the spirit of friendliness they had known in their home towns. Word of the club soon spread and others were invited to join. They named their new club “Rotary” to describe the practice of meeting in rotation at the members’ various places of business.

Originally formed for fellowship, the first Rotary club quickly evolved to use the talents and resources of its members to serve the community. By the end of 1905, the Rotary Club of Chicago had 30 members. Three years later a second club was established in San Francisco, California, USA. The next year three more clubs were established on the west coast and a fourth in New York City. Within a few years other groups formed service clubs based on the Rotary model. It’s currently -6 deg C in Chicago. They were brave souls back then.

I have two outstanding requests for assistance. If you can help, please let me know this week.

  1. I need someone to help me mark out NATA Oval for the market. All our usual markers are away.
  2. I also have received an application form for the Oyster Festival. Do we want to participate? Who would like to manage this if we do?


Our first guest speaker for 2019 is Di White who will speak about Monty’s Place in Narooma. Di is the Volunteer Coordinator at Monty’s and acts as ‘Front of House’ in the dining room. She will talk about the value of volunteers and the growth of support networks around Monty’s Place. Please remember to let me know if you are bringing guests this week (Bob is away).

A date for your diary. The annual battle for the Cinders trophy is on Wednesday 12 June in Moruya. Dust off those encyclopaedias. The trophy last year was awarded to both clubs in a draw.

The Week that Was

The combined meeting at Moruya

At the presentation of donations particularly from the Rotary Moruya Race Day were Moruya Jockey Club President Peter Atkinson, left, Rotary Race Day committee Chairman David Ashford and Muddy Puddles Finance Manager and a founding member of Muddy Puddles Anne Minato and Muddy Puddles CEO Cate McMath.

Our three Eurobodalla Rotary Clubs and Moruya Jockey Club presented Muddy Puddles Inc with $20,000 last Wednesday, the proceeds from two race days, including the Rotary Christmas Race Day, and raffles.

Moruya Jockey Club President Peter Atkinson said the Race Days show that Rotary and the Jockey Club can work together to deliver wonderful outcomes. “Our combined efforts have not only raised much needed funds for a very worthy cause, they have also raised awareness in our community of the wonderful work done by Muddy Puddles,” he said.

Muddy Puddles is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2014 by a group of concerned parents and community members who wanted more services locally for children with a disability or development delay. It provides therapy, development programmes and individual support to children and young people with a disability across the Eurobodalla Shire.

These funds will support Muddy Puddles’ Jump Up programme this year which provides young children not currently funded with immediate access to fully qualified therapists and educators, and supports families in accessing the services they need.

Rotary Race Day Committee chairman David Ashford said this was the sixth Rotary Race Day. “In that time we have raised $119,000 that has also supported the Oncology Unit at Moruya Hospital, installed 12 defibrillators across the shire and made donations to the Shire’s four surf clubs.” David paid tribute to Moruya Jockey Club, to the ongoing enthusiasm and hard work of the Race Day committee, and to the willing volunteers from Rotary, their partners and friends, and from Muddy Puddles. He also thanked the raffle and race sponsors. “‘We cannot complete these events without everyone’s help and support,” he said.

Muddy Puddles CEO Cate McMath thanked Rotary and Jockey Club. “We could not do what we are doing without your support and the commitment of the local community,” she said. “That community spirit keeps Muddy Puddles going and in turn Muddy Puddles gives back to the community.”

Cate also praised Member for Bega Andrew Constance, who had earlier addressed the meeting, for his ongoing support and in accessing funding for them to build their new Therapy Centre. Andrew spoke about the importance of early intervention and the huge impact on families of having someone with a disability.

At Moruya last week, Lynn Hastings, Chris O’Brien and Ang Ulrichsen

Drought Relief

The Combined Districts (9700 and 9710) Drought Relief Committee, made up of members of both districts, has been meeting weekly to organise the distribution of donations from the combined RAWCS, National Farmers’ Federation and Channel 9 Today Drought Relief Appeal.

Our DG Margaret Hassall is one of the committee’s project managers; PDG PDG Phil Armstrong of the RC Moruya is also on the committee. With Bega Valley Shire a Drought Declared Area, several committee members met recently with the presidents of the RC of Bega, Merimbula and Pambula, AG Bill de Jong as well as Mayor of Bega Valley Shire Kristy McBain. 

Narooma Rotary Beacon 14 February 2019

Rod’s Ramble

Youth night last week – Sandra Doyle, left, counsellor to Alicia Bate, and Tahlia Arnold and Lynda Ord

It was great to start back at Rotary last week with such a good vibe. It was our Youth Night and we were joined by four young people. One was Alicia Bate is our 2018 Rotary Scholar who begins at Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga this year, and another was Tahlia Arnold who also received funds from the Club to assist her with her first year at Wollongong Uni last year, as well as some for this year. We also received an email from this year’s recipient Cassidy Ker thanking us for her award.

Andrew Thomas, Deputy Principal of Narooma High School, his daughter and another Narooma High student joined us. Hopefully we can build on this relationship with the school in the future to ensure that the young people of Narooma have the opportunity to participate in Rotary’s many Youth Programs.

Now it’s time to look forward. I am more confident about the Club’s future now that we have President’s in place for the next two years. David McInnes for 2019-20 and Rolf Gimmel for 2020-21. David’s first official duty will be the Foundation Seminar which I will also attend on Saturday 2 March at Ulladulla. This will be quickly followed by PETS and the District Assembly at the end of March.

Our next major activity is the February Market and John will circulate a roster this week. If you can help, please put your name on the roster. We will also need some assistance marking out NATA Oval . If you have some experience in this can you please contact me ASAP.

The Busking Festival Committee had their first full meeting, chaired by our new coordinator John Rungen with Chris, Laurelle, Lynda, Lynn, Sandra and John Doyle, Heather Ferguson and Jenni French (nee Aston). Chris has already secured $8,000 in sponsorship. It’s good to see so many getting involved especially Club Friend Heather and Jenni. If you want to help, please contact John Rungen. The Committee meets again on Thursday 21st February 5.00pm at the Golf Club.

Clean Up Australia Day is approaching. This year it will be on Sunday 3rd March in the morning. We will concentrate on our normal area between the Bridge and Apex Park. There has been some interest in participating but I need someone to register the site and liaise with the Shire contact. If you can help out let me know ASAP.

THIS WEEK:  Joint meeting at Moruya

Remember there is no meeting in Narooma this Thursday. Instead eight of us will join friends from Moruya and Bateman’s Bay Clubs in Moruya as well as Moruya Jockey Club to make a joint presentation from the Christmas races to our 2018 charity, Muddy Puddles. The meeting is expected to be chaired by Assistant Governor Alan Russell.

The final sum will be announced on the night. Should be a big night; Moruya Club is expecting a possible 80 people.This is the sixth year we have been involved with Moruya Jockey Club. In that time, the combined efforts of the four organisations  have raised $119,000; that money has supported the Moruya Oncology Unit, 12 defibrillators in our three towns, the four Surf Life Saving Clubs, and now Muddy Puddles.

Out and About

Men’s Shed finds new home

Great jubilation last Friday with the lease signing at the old Scouts’ Hall for a new home for the group. Note in the front row our very own delighted Peter Hartley.

Laurelle represented the Club at last Friday’s lease signing for a new home for the Men’s Shed in front of over 60 people including NSW Transport Minister and Member for Bega Andrew Constance and Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes. The site is next to Narooma Scout Hall on land owned by the NSW Government adjacent to the corridor for the proposed Narooma bypass. The Bypass proposal dates back to the 1950s. NSW Roads and Maritime has leased the site to Council which has then sub-leased it to the Men’s Shed. The lease is for 15 years with a five-year option.

Since 2012, Narooma Men’s Shed has leased temporary facilities in Glasshouse Rocks Road but that lease expires later this year. The Men’s Shed, with around 50 active members, persistently lobbied Council for many years to help them find a long term home.
They intend building three sheds on the leased site and, through an agreement apparently yet to be finalised with the Scouting Association, use the old Scout Hall as their lunch room. Their idea is that the Men’s Shed will maintain the building but make it available for other uses. The group has already over $100,000 set aside for the project, with an anticipated extra $100,000 needed to complete it. They are now working towards DA approval. 
You might recall that the Scout Hall was Narooma Rotary’s first major project. It was built in 1959/1960 by Narooma Rotarians using recycled timber from renovations to Hyland’s Hotel (the bottom pub). That was in Bill Smyth Senior’s year as President. Over the years, the Club has also donated significant funds to assist local Scouts buy equipment.

From our Archives: at the Scout Hall in 2008 for the filming of our Narooma Rotary Projects film for our 50th were those who helped build the Hall, Narooma Rotary Foundation members George Barker, left, and Neville Gough. Also taking part were former Narooma Rotarians Norm Hoyer and Ron Constable with film director Laurelle.

Christmas Races Charity for 2019

Ideas are now being canvassed for an appropriate beneficiary of the proceeds of the 2019 Charity Race Day. The main criteria are that it can be readily identified as a joint Rotary and Jockey Club project, plus benefit Eurobodalla Shire as a whole. If you have an idea, please forward it to Rod and include a few words about why you are suggesting it.

Melbourne will host 2023 RI Convention

Melbourne will host the 2023 Rotary International Convention on 27-31 May 2023. It is expected to attract over 20,000 delegates making it the largest Conference held in Melbourne since the previous RI Convention in 1993. It will use the Rod Laver Arena and the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

It is a Multi-District project initiated by RC Melbourne and D9800.  A delighted Melbourne President  Robert Fisher said, “This is fantastic news for Rotary in our part of the world”. The RI Board selected the Melbourne bid last month. The bid was put together by ‘a partnership’ between the Melbourne Convention Bureau, Districts 9800/ 9810/ 9820/ 9790/ 9780 and RC Melbourne

Theme 2019/2020 ‘Rotary Connects the World’

RI President-elect Mark Daniel Maloney’s theme for 2019-20 is Rotary Connects the World. He asks Rotarians to strengthen the many ways that Rotary Connects the World, building the connections that allow talented, thoughtful, and generous people to unite and take meaningful action through Rotary service.

He said Rotary is built on connection. “When Paul Harris came to Chicago as a young lawyer, he formed Rotary for one compelling reason: to help him connect to others in a new city. More than a century later, we have at our disposal countless ways to form friendships and networks, most of which Paul Harris never dreamed.

“Yet Rotary’s ability to connect us remains unique and unrivalled. Through its distinct mission and structure, Rotary International provides a way to connect to our communities, to network professionally, and to build strong and lasting relationships.”

Narooma Rotary Beacon 7 February 2019

David McInnes for President!

Great news that David McInnes has put up his hand to be President of Narooma Rotary Club 2019-2020. He will be a wonderful president and will have the full support of members.

David McInnes as MC of Narooma’s Australia Day Ceremony

David recently did a wonderful job as MC for Narooma’s Australia Day ceremony on the 25th at Narooma Golf Club. David has also joined Narooma’s Australia Day Committee.

It must be the first time for many years that our Club not only has an incoming president but also a President Elect for 2020-2021 (Rolf Gimmel) at this early stage. The Club’s future is looking bright.


This week is our first night back after the break and of course our Youth Night. Joining us will be our 2018 Narooma Rotary Tertiary Scholarship winner Alicia Bate who had a gap year last year including working in the United States. It will be interesting to hear about her gap year and her plans for studying for a Bachelor of Animal Science at Charles Sturt University with hopes to transfer to a Bachelor of Veterinary Science/Veterinary Biology. 

Also joining us will be Tahlia Arnold who received a one-off scholarship for 2018 of $3,000. Last year Tahlia completed her first year studying Psychology at the University of Wollongong with outstanding results. The Board late last year decided to give Tahlia an additional $1,000 scholarship for 2019.

Out and about since last meeting

Fish ‘n Chips

It was great to catch up with many members at the Fishing Club and enjoy fish and chips from the newly opened Inlet. Here are a few photos.

2019 Tertiary Scholar

President Rod presented Cassidy Kerr with the 2019 Narooma Rotary Club Tertiary Scholarship at Narooma’s recent Australia Day Awards. Cassidy will do a double degree in Law and Psychology at the University of Wollongong.

Unfortunately Cassidy won’t be able to join us for our youth night this week because she has already headed to Wollongong to get sorted ready for the start of university.

Interestingly Cassidy is the 29th student from Narooma High who Rotary has helped pursue their studies and achieve their dreams. That assistance now totals over $248,000. The scholarship is awarded from a trust fund established from a bequest by the late Alexander Birch which is now being topped up from other fundraising activities, including the recent Duck Race.

This year we have four students receiving scholarships – Melanie Miller (2016), Sabine Kildea (2017), Alicia Bate (2018) and now Cassidy (2019).

Duck Race attracted crowds and a Big Duck

What a great event thanks to Charmaine White’s great organisation and our wonderful team of willing helpers. Narooma Bridge was packed with onlookers as the 1,000 ducks leapt off the bridge for the start our great Rotary Australia Day Duck Race, watched by a newly arrived Big Duck from China.

The winning duck 124 was held by Merilyn Blakeman of Leeton who won $1,000. The last duck was 607 held by Michael Madden of Dubbo who won $100.

Duck race coordinator Charmaine and Chief Duck Ange hold the winning ducks.

Charmaine and President Rod thanked everyone who made the Duck Race such a fun event – supporters who bought tickets, the hundreds of spectators, duck droppers and duck collectors who came in a flotilla of various craft and included Rotary friends and Eurobodalla paddlers, as well as lifesavers from Narooma Surf Life Saving Club.

Proceeds this year will go towards the Club’s Tertiary Scholarship fund. The Club will also make donations to Narooma Surf Club in appreciation of their assistance and to Bermagui CRABS (Cancer Research Advocate Bikers) who lend us the ducks.

Clean Up Australia – Sunday 3 March

Clean Up Australia Day(s) are fast approaching over the weekend of 2-3 MARCH. Normally our Club cleans from Narooma Bridge to the Apex Park Boat Ramp. Is anyone  willing to lend a hand ? We will have to register.

Eurobodalla’s Clean Up Project Officer Maree Cadman says Council supports the Clean Up Australia Day program by assisting with campaign promotion, group coordination, and the pickup and disposal of rubbish.  It is not a Council run event; Clean Up Australia provides Public Liability cover for volunteers officially registered with Clean Up Australia.

Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA)

This great programme will be held on Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd April at Moruya Jockey Club. It targets pre-learner drivers from Eurobodalla Shire’s five high-schools (so Year 11 students) and is run by Batemans Bay Rotary in conjunction with Moruya and Narooma Clubs.

We normally provide a few members who help on the day Narooma High students attend as well as pay for the bus for Narooma High students.  At this stage RYDA coordinator Neil Simpson is not sure which day will involve Narooma High. Can anyone help?

RYDA is an opportunity for students to learn and talk about how they will function as a driver or a passenger. 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 Coastal Auto Group.

OAM awards – Fred Fawke and Griffiths

You have no doubt caught up with the fact that the Griffiths of the Kinema both won the Order of Australia (OAM) in the recent national Australia Day awards (see last week’s Independent and this week’s Narooma News.

Rotary’s own Fred Fawkes also received an Order of Australia General Division for services to the community of Canberra. We have all seen Fred in action in ShelterBox and RAWCS but when you read the full citation, these are only a fraction of his community involvements, now and over the years since he retired as a Superintendent in the Federal Police Force. Heartiest congratulations Fred!