Narooma Rotary Beacon 5 September 2019

Charmaine’s Chat

President Charmaine White with Bega Rotarian Phil MacDonald, left and Bega President Phil Elsey

Fantastic to catch up with Bega Rotarians at Cobargo Hotel last week and great to see so many Narooma Rotarians there. Thanks for the support. Interesting to meet other local Rotarians who are also working hard and enthusiastically for their community. 
Interesting too to hear how the Bega Breakfast club started and how it is working for younger members. We will discuss this at our Board meeting on 12 Sept and later at Club Assembly. 
Please bring whale raffle tickets to our meeting this Thursday as it is being drawn this Saturday at 12.30 at Narooma Wharf. 
Our MUNA students, their parents and teachers are coming this week to report on their experiences at MUNA. Partners are very welcome; please let me know numbers if you are bringing guests. 


This week we welcome our Narooma High students who went to the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) in Canberra in mid August. They are Crystal Elmasri, Aisha Thomas and Luka Potts. Joining them will be their ‘coach’ Narooma High teacher Monique Wicks and Principal Fiona Jackson, and the students’ parents.

The week that was

What a wonderful meeting with our fellow Rotarians from Bega last week, led  by President Phil Elsey; it is always so much better when we all mix in together with the seating. Thanks to Ange Ulrichsen for the initiative. It was lovely too that Kathryn Ratcliffe from Narooma Chamber of Commerce joined us.

The Bega Rotary Breakfast Club was a vocational committee initiative last year under the leadership of Past President Margaret Taylor who unfortunately could not join us last Thursday. However her brother and fellow Rotarian Phil MacDonald filled us in and generously shared so much of their experience.

Bega Rotarian Phil McDonald

He put the shared reality of our membership bluntly; “Look around the table and imagine who will be there in another 10-15 years.” PP Margaret’s idea was to look outside the square at young professional and business people in the area. “Our aim is to increase our members for when we fall off the perch,” as Phil so eloquently put it.

The stated aims of the Breakfast Club though are broader:

  1. networking with other Bega businesses
  2. informing Bega businesses on how Bega Rotary can support them and provide opportunities
  3. providing an opportunity to hear informative speakers on current business ideas and practices
  4. voicing how they want the Business Breakfasts to develop.

A major characteristic of young professional and business people is they are time poor, hence the appeal of a breakfast meeting. Interesting to note that at the time the Bega Chamber of Commerce had become inactive. They targeted invitations for a breakfast get-together; about 50 young people expressed interest and 32 turned up for the first meeting; 30 for the second.

They worked out when and where to meet; needed someone in the Rotary Club to push it. Bega Rotary paid for all breakfasts for the first two meetings (about $1,400). Decided start 7am, ‘big breakfast’, a guest speaker plus one or two people to present a two minute overview of their business. They had two meetings before Christmas, about one a month. Wasn’t until after several meetings that Rotary was mentioned, then next meeting asked if any wanted to join. At the following meeting they inducted some new members.

The breakfast meetings regularly attract about 30 people; “It’s is so refreshing to see the motivation of these young people and all their ideas,” Phil said. Interesting to see several starting to take charge and chair the meetings; they have come up with own projects. Have at least one member of Bega Rotary attends each breakfast meeting.

As a result of the breakfast club, they have so far inducted 11 new people into Bega Rotary who go to the breakfast meetings rather than the Thursday night meetings. Interesting another seven people joined Bega Rotary as a result of invites ‘over coffee’ and they seem to go to the Thursday meetings. An interesting aside is that as a result of the breakfast meetings, there are also moves to revive the Bega Chamber of Commerce.

Lots of ‘food for thought’ for us as a result and some good contacts made.

Bega invited us to their combined meeting with Merimbula and Pambula Clubs on Wednesday 6 November at Club Sapphire.

Out and about

Polio eradication Film night

Our Polio fundraiser on 24 October

Ange has organised a film night with Jade at the Kinema for Thursday 24 October To raise money for the eradication of Polio to help the End Polio campaign. The movie is ‘Ride Like a Girl’, the story of Michelle Payne who was the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. Please spread the word far and wide

The eradication of polio is one of Rotary’s longest standing and most significant efforts. Along with our partners, Rotary has helped immunise more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. We have reduced polio cases by 99.9% worldwide and we won’t stop until we end the disease for good. Every dollar Rotary commits to end polio will be tripled thanks to a matching agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (up to US$50 million a year).

Renewable Energy Expo

Plans are progressing well for our Narooma Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday 2 November to make it a ‘must see’ for everyone interested in saving power costs and having a low environmental footprint.

Our committee of Bob Aston (chair), Frank, Ange and Laurelle are hard at it, with exhibitors now firming up. An added feature this year will be renewable and low cost energy for caravaners. Hopefully all members will be able to lend a hand on the day.

Potential RYLA candidates

The next Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp will be a joint undertaking of the old Districts 9710 and 9700. It will be held in Canberra from Saturday 11th to Friday 17th January at the Greenhills Centre on Cotter Road. RYLA targets 18 to 25 year olds who already show potential as good leaders. It is a prestigious course and costs $910. Our Club expects parents or employers to contribute something to the cost. The closing date for applications is 7th January. We will need to interview a potential candidate well before then, so please keep your eyes open.


Board meeting at 5pm at Narooma Golf Club followed by a Club Assembly.