Thank you to Anthony who took us on a tour of the Plaza Pharmacy as a part of our ‘Rotarian Presents’ program last Thursday. Anthony’s presentation was most informative; Laurelle has more information about the visit elsewhere in the Beacon.
On Sunday John and Sandra Doyle, Ange and I cooked breakfast at the Cancer Council ‘Relay for Life’ at Bill Smyth Oval. Although numbers were down on last year and at time business was quite slow, the whole event was a credit to the organisers and their supporters, through their hard work much needed money was raised to help fight cancer.
This Thursday we hold our annual Pride of Workmanship dinner. The purpose of ‘Pride of Workmanship’ is to recognise the many valued and hardworking employees in our small community. I am sure Thursday will be a great success. Thank you to Laurelle for all her hard work in organising the event.
We are due to have a Board meeting this Thursday, however, because of the Pride of Workmanship dinner I have postponed the meeting until the following Thursday. Board members are asked to have their reports uploaded or emailed to Sandra by 14 April.
Out and About
Last Thursday at the Pharmacy
What a fascinating insight Anthony Whittle gave us last week into what’s involved in running the Plaza Pharmacy which recently moved into new premises. Interesting to go behind the counter and out back to see where a lot of the work actually happens.
Everyone had a host of questions particularly about the changes in legislation as to what medicines are now no longer sold over the counter but require a prescription. Interesting too that unlike ‘days of old’, most pharmacists no longer make up potions and medicines; only a very few specialist pharmacists still do. This ‘Rotarian Presents’ series, introduced by President Bob, has proved to be quite fascinating.
Some points from the Drug and Alcohol Forum at Moruya
About 200 people attended the Drug and Alcohol Forum in Moruya on Monday night hosted by the combined Eurobodalla Rotary Clubs, including Bob Aston, Chris O’Brien, Ange Ulrichsen, Laurelle Pacey and Gordon and Di Bentley represented our Club. Does the Eurobodalla have a drug and alcohol problem? The answer from the forum was overwhelmingly ‘yes’. Interestingly the women who spoke at the Forum about their experiences, two about their kids and the impact on their families, were all from Narooma.
Keynote speaker was the former Director of Emergency Services at St Vincent’s Hospital Gordian Fulde, 2016 Senior Australian of the Year. His initial talk was on the dramatic reduction in trauma cases presenting to Sydney hospital emergency departments from the early closing of licensed premises in parts of Sydney including Kings Cross.
Gordian also spoke about drugs being big business, and that Ice is the most evil drug we have at the moment. ‘It has the biggest profit margin, is easy to make, is very addictive and it destroys the person very quickly, their family and their friendships.’
In response to a question about why people become addicts, Gordian believes a lack of self-esteem makes people more vulnerable but added there are many variables and each person is different. An early sign of a problem is when someone dramatically changes friends. ‘Drugs take their pain away from reality,’ he said.
Michelle Preston said in her experience, addiction was brought on by someone not feeling any connection with other people. She spoke of the need for people to talk with each other, look each other in the eye, and interact with each other. Donna Falconer of Narooma said she is now responsible for raising all her grandchildren because of their parents’ Ice addition.
Psychotherapist and addiction counsellor John Falcon said addiction was an illness and spoke of the culture of denial of alcoholism and depression and shame when individuals succumbed. He said because addictions are illnesses, society should move from punishment to treatment but often the addict doesn’t think they need help. He said the most effective treatment was to work through families wherever possible and put family members first. They need to set boundaries and spoke of ‘tough love’. By working with and supporting families they often eventually can help a person recover. Progress can be painfully slow, particularly if the patient lacks family support.
Aboriginal woman Marilyn Campbell of Narooma spoke movingly about her own recovery and the importance of recovering addicts coming out of gaol or rehabilitation having jobs, training or work experience to help them gain self-esteem and a sense of belonging and respect.
Moruya club President Mike Dent said the aim of Monday’s meeting was to try to bring together the relevant people and organisations to come up with a formal drug action team. We await news hopefully of such a team being formed.
A word from Uni
Lynda Ord received a lovely note from Tahlia Arnold who is in her first year at Wollongong University. She received some financial assistance from the Club just for her first year, as runner-up in the Tertiary Scholarship considerations.
Hi Lynda, I’d just thought I’d let you know how I’m going at UOW so far.
I’m doing Psychology courses with an elective that I’ve picked up called ‘Introduction to Indigenous Studies’ which I adore so far. Everything in every class has caught my attention and I’m keeping up-to-date with all the work by making a start on any assignments and readings as soon as I get them.
I can’t get over how beautiful the campus is and how nice all the tutors and lecturers are. I’ve even joined a PASS (Peer Assisted Study Session) group and made friends in that.
I’ve checked my course outlines and by the looks of it, the next few weeks are going to be busy with assignments and presentations. I better start buckling down even more! Thank you again for this opportunity.
See you this Thursday night for the Pride of Workmanship Awards. Usual time, 6 for 6.30, cost $30 (two-course meal). If you haven’t already booked with Bob and intend to come, please contact him immediately because tables will be set.