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.