Narooma Rotary Beacon 26 May 2022

Andrew’s Thoughts

Barbecue stalwarts Rod Walker, Mike Young and Gordon Bentley at last Sunday’s Market

It’s great to be back, even with a wretched cold and jet-lag!

Thursday was the last Business Breakfast of the 2021/2022 programme and it was excellent to see a really appreciative reception for Cath Peachey’s debrief on the Oyster Festival. The Festival has become a phenomenal success. We also heard from Leanne Joyce about the upcoming River of Art which looks to be another outstanding event this year. A special thanks to all our Rotarians for your active and continued support. 

Sunday saw another successful Market. The sun shone on the righteous and the weather held. As ever, it was an outstanding team effort, and I gather from Mike that we’re banking about $1,580.

This Wednesday afternoon, the Business Breakfast Committee will meet to reflect on our highs and lows of the 21/22 programme and initial thoughts for the 22/23 programme to commence in August. That will be followed by an additional Committee Meeting to discuss the Changeover and disbursements.

Similarly, the PCSG will take a winter break. It is clear that the darkness and cold over winter are detracting many people from coming out.

This Thursday sees our oft changed District Governor’s dinner. As we know, this was due to Leo Farrelly wife’s illness and then diary clashes. However, we are honoured to have our Area Governor Adam de Totth joining us on Leo’s behalf. This is a very important event in our Rotary year and please do all you can to attend with partners etc. and let John know as usual.

Being away for so long enabled me to reflect on this last year and I look forward to writing my President’s Report for Changeover. One thing for sure has been the impact of our newer members – Gero and Julie are joining the Board for 22/23, Susanna brings her creative skills in media design and social media, and the refreshing wise counsel and experience of Gordon. Welcome to you all, and thank you.


On Wednesday at 3.30pm: A meeting of our Business Breakfast Subcommittee at Lynn’s place.

On Wednesday at 4.00pm: An additional Board meeting to discuss disbursements for the Changeover.

On Thursday 6 for 6.30pm: Our dinner meeting will be the long awaited District Governor’s visit but with AG Adam de Totth as stand-in for DG Leo Farrelly. This is a partners’ night so we’re hoping for good numbers. Numbers should have been given to John Tuesday afternoon.

The Week that Was

Thursday’s Business Breakfast

Narooma Rocks Chair Cath Peachey, River of Art Chair Leanne Joyce and Narooma Rotary President Andrew Lawson

Eurobodalla Shire has two recognised flagship events – Narooma Oyster Festival and the River of Art.

Narooma Rocks Chair Cath Peachey told last Thursday’s Business Breakfast (BB) this year’s Narooma Oyster Festival (NOF) was the biggest ever. She reminded everyone it was started by the Chamber of Commerce in 2007 to boost tourism and the region outside the peak season but is now run by Narooma Rocks, a not for profit community company with a volunteer board. While analysis of 600-700 surveys won’t be completed for some weeks, she gave us a broad overview of the Festival.

  • 10,035 attended over the two days, up 50% on last year.
  • Site expanded by 25%
  • Six separately ticketed ‘premium experiences’
  • Over 1390 stallholders  (80% from South Coast) including 15 craft brewers and distillers
  • This year’s NOF cost $0.5m; 20,000+ volunteer hours; $50,000 goods in kind.
  • $41% of the Festival Income comes from grants and corporate sponsorship
  • 60% of the cost of the Festival is on infrastructure, event management and labour
  • The oyster industry success is crucial to the NOF’s success
  • It have the local food industry opportunity to meet with Food and Beverage heavyweights
  • Showcased our community.

Cath also highlighted the challenges of continuing to stage the NOF. For example…

  • the exponential growth in the cost of staging the NOF, up from $180,000 in 2019 to $500,000 2022.
  • prepayment for infrastructure presents cashflow problems.
  • lack of organisational capacity for the scale of the event
  • Government grants designed for continued expansion rather than sustainability of an event
  • year-round overheads
  • succession planning.

While most of the BB focussed on the recent NOF, River of Art Festival Chair Leanne Joyce also gave us some insight into the challenges it faces. The 2022 ROF (16-25 September) hosts a diverse range of arts, music and performances concluding with a spectacular laser and light show on the Moruya River called Luminous: Art After Dark on 24th September. The ROA now costs about $250,000 to stage. Again it’s run by volunteers working closely with local businesses. She also mentioned the development of an Art Trail.

Both organisations are looking at possible collaboration to improve their sustainability, such as sharing resources.

Last Sunday’s Market

Market stalwarts Lynn Hastings, Mike Young and Ange Ulrichsen

Freezing first thing in the morning but thankfully it turned into a glorious day at last Sunday’s market. Well done team! Treasurer Mike Young reports a total take of $1,580.10 (Gate $980, Van $563.11 and Wishing Well $47).


No meeting next week.