Narooma Rotary Beacon 16 November 2017

Bob’s Blog

Hello Everyone

Last Thursday Frank Eden stepped in at short notice to talk to us about ‘AI’ or artificial intelligence. I must say when Frank told me he was going to talk about AI I thought he was going talk about something completely different! His presentation was very informative if a little scary.

Frank Eden talking about AI at last week’s meeting. Peter Hartley is in the background.

The way computers learn and adapt will have significant impacts on us in the next five to 10 years, with machines taking over many tasks currently carried out by humans. While some of us might be quite happy with self-driving cars, I am not sure I want artificial soldiers fighting wars or a machine fixing my heart…

As I have mentioned previously, we have a busy few weeks ahead of us. Please consider volunteering for these important activities including the Expo, Markets and Carols by Candlelight. It is particularly important to get numbers for the Expo Dinner on the evening of 25 November; we need at least 30 to 40 people to make it worthwhile. Please let me know by email if you will be attending the dinner.

Don’t forget our Italian Night at the Golf Club on 30 November. If would be great to see a big turnout for what should be as great night, please invite your partners, friends and even others.

Rotary Day at the United Nations was on Saturday 11 November. To find out a little more about what happened on the 11th click here. Laurelle has a little more.

This week we welcome Trevor Neville as our guest speaker. Trevor is a teacher, artist and illustrator­­. His many talents include children’s art workshops, cartoon drawing and vibrant chalkboard designs.

Have a great week everyone



The Week that Was

Unfortunately I missed Frank’s talk on artificial intelligence (AI) which he says is ‘the most significant technological advance in his [and our!]  lifetime’. What interested him particularly last week was the resulting discussion about the social implications of AI.

Frank Eden and President Bob Aston are still working towards the Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday 25 November.

Counting down to the Renewable Energy Expo

Our Renewable Energy Expo is less than two weeks away but the committee is confident all plans are now in place. Here is the latest great film promo on the Expo, courtesy of Tim Dolstra and Frank. Here is the link. Please ‘like’ it, share it, comment on it, and forward it on to everyone you can think of.

Lions’ Drug Awareness Community Forum

Five of our members represented the Club at the Drug Awareness Community Forum held by Narooma Lions last Friday and Saturday at the Golf Club. About 100 Narooma High students attended on Friday along with a number of adults particularly from Narooma’s service clubs including Michael, Angie and Sandra.  Sandra, Charmaine and Chris attended on Saturday which attracted mainly representatives from the town’s various service clubs plus  a few others.

Sandra said the two days were ‘very confronting’. ‘Support agencies were well  represented and they spoke about drugs and their consequences,’ she said.  ‘NSW Police gave some insight into their everyday dealings with drug users and their covert operations to find the dealers.’

The Lighthouse Surgery representative spoke with students about the Teen Clinic  starting at the Surgery 14 November. It is a free and confidential service where local teenagers can seek advice from a nurse on both medical and non-medical issues. On Saturday Dr Gundi Muller-Grotjan spoke about concerns caused by opiate and alcohol use in the area.

Perhaps the presentation that had the greatest impact on everyone was by two women whose sons’ ICE addiction have had such a devastating effect on their respective families, with the men in prison and one of the women now having to care for her three grandchildren. The women started the ICE Support Group to help others like themselves. The women begged the students to think about their families before considering taking ICE.

Sandra said the consensus from speaking with the other service groups after the forum seemed to be to look at possibly doing something to support affected families through the ICE Support Group. No doubt we will more about this.

UN celebrates Rotary International Day

Rotary Day at the United Nations on 11 November celebrated in Geneva the two organisations’ shared vision for peace. It also highlighted the critical humanitarian activities that Rotary and the UN lead around the world. About 1,000 people attended including RI  president Ian Risley and directors, Rotary Foundation trustees, other Rotarians, experts from other nongovernmental agencies, renowned humanitarians and young leaders. This year’s theme was ‘Peace: Making a Difference’.