President Brian’s Report for 23rd March : Number 21

One urgent task for the Club is to complete the “Rotary Youth Volunteer Information and Declaration Form 3” which will come out to you this week and return the completed form, with the Police Check Number and expiry date, to myself if you have it. I will have to verify your referees and declare you are a suitable person according to your form to work with children. If you do not complete this form then you will not be sanctioned to work with children including any Exchange Students, Interact activities or other activities involving children. There is a lot of work involved with this and all you have to do is complete the form and give it to me on a Friday Meeting or post it.
End Trachoma will be held on 28 March at the Fraternity Club. This Friday will be the last chance to pay for your dinner ($35) to our club who will send one cheque through to Corrimal Club. I urge you to attend this educational meeting as this is a good cause which our club could be part of.
Attendance at our own meeting is still a very strong concern with only 10 members at our last meeting. We must be able to do better than this, having some 35 members in the club. When each of us joined there was a commitment from us to serve and be a good Rotarian. A part of that commitment was to attend the meetings each week. Corrimal Club has also just informed us of the attendance of the Ambassador of Indonesia on Wednesday 18 April at the Fraternity Club Fairy Meadow and have invited people to attend. The cost is $30.00 which also covers a 2 course meal. Members who wish to attend are to contact Kate Strasburg before 13 April.

There is a Board Meeting this Wednesday which will then be followed by a Club Assembly Friday.   Please keep safe all week and we will meet again on Friday.
Brian Ashe

Minutes of 9 March, 2018 : Chris Boddington

Secretary Isla who is busy tramping the Queen Charlotte Track in NZ with our IT guru Michael sent out a please be there reminder to members because we had an interesting morning coming up with a trio of guest speakers.  And for those who read the fine print it was a most interesting morning because we learnt the Novotel is  planning to turn the Windjammers into a Function Centre.  What this means for club meetings is still to be determined. But we must acknowledge that the Novotel has been most supportive with everything from our Change Over to Australia Day to no room rate charge for our morning meetings to not requiring numbers for breakfasts a week ahead. So it’s understandable that from time to time they need to look at the business of running a hotel. And this is obviously currently happening … Now back to the meeting.

We had our two National Science Forum  candidates from St Mary’s & their teacher Liz Davies attend the meeting to report back on their week away. It was wonderful to hear their enthusiasm at getting to network with other bright young people and older members of the science community all enthusiastic about science, currently fashionably referred to as STEM ( Science, technology, engineering & maths – I just had to google it).

A wise Rotarian once said to us that the health of a Rotary club has been shown to be linked to the strength of the youth programs it supports. And so this turned out to be a prescient comment with our best breakfast numbers for weeks all coming to listen to what will hopefully be two of our science leaders of the future. So we had Emma McFadden & Mildred Sim two impressive young ladies reporting back on their fabulous week with a network of contacts & new friends which will all contributed to valuing  & empowering tomorrow’s scientists. And surely we need to support our young people & our girls into this important field.  I assure you lots of photos were taken which you can find on our website.

Then our Guest Speaker Alex Rachlewicz from Propel Technologies managed to shake a few folks up & generated a lot of interest by discussing Data Safety & passwords.  By the time he’d finished discussing how easy it was to harvest your email address, your password & your identity he had us all concentrating on his advice.
Alex is a colleague of our Guest Speaker coordinator Peter Hill & we were most interested to hear Alex’s advice on how to make your data safe. In fact a few of us noted Alex’s contact details ( 0401874899) & think it may be a wise investment in the security of our systems. He also said set up a two step banking system where any fund transfers are cross checked before they are completed. Yep, do it!

His final piece of advice on passwords resonated with some of us older members. He said keep a paper copy of your passwords somewhere safe because no one from the dark side can hack those. He also worrisomely said he changes all his passwords routinely each new year & each new financial year. Yep, that’s each six months but only the important ones. Get yourself a password manager or give Alex a call.
Finally it was great to see everyone at breakfast & hear about all the projects currently underway. Best Swing Into Wings ever said Tony, get your tickets now!

Report from President Brian : Number 20

9 March 2018
My last week was all about District Conference. We made a bit of a trip of it staying one night in Bathurst then one at Orange, three nights in Mudgee and one night in Cowra on the return trip. The conference was of equal standing with the previous conference at Wollongong with excellent speakers from a wide range of people. The conference dinner was at the Rural Education Centre which, is in fact a very large shed, no air and thirty degrees. It was hot but who can control the weather. There was three hundred and seventy six Rotarians at the conference so it was well attended. Illawarra was well represented although Sunrise only had two who went.

On my return there was the usual hundred emails to short out although two were from Rotary and marked urgent. The first was about insurance and I will fix that but the second was about all club members. It was the “Rotary Youth Volunteer and Declaration Form 3” This form is to be filled in by all members but there is a difference to previous years. Not only do you need a Police check, done by email, but you need to nominate three referees which the club’s Authorised Officer will contact and verify. Both the Authorised Officer and the club President must sign to say that the member has satisfactorily completed the form, Referees have been contacted and the working with children Police check has been done and the member is a suitable volunteer. To get all members to do this will be a massive task as it is difficult to get a number of members to reply to anything. That said I hope there is an excellent response to this task.

Friday’s meeting was very good in that we had two students, sponsored by Fairy Meadow and Sunrise Clubs, from St Mary’s College telling us about their experience at the Youth Science Forum held in Queensland. We also had Aleks from Propel Technologies giving us information on how to protect your on line sites.

Clean Up was on Saturday at the Mt Kembla Lookout however I was 20 minutes late, the others had cleaned up and left to another site (secret business), so I had a pleasant Saturday Morning drive without result. I can now tell you where Mt Kembla Lookout is and could save you the additional 25 klms. I travelled.

Hope you all have a very pleasant week.
Brian Ashe  

News from Rob Edwards in Fiji

A big 20 days in Fiji, but kicked some good goals.  The house is base for the women’s project I set up – solar to start pearl jewellery business.  That women’s project suddenly has 6 other women wanting to take the concept to their communities all round Fiji –  pretty powerful stuff for the small group of women who kicked this off with a little mentoring and support from here   Also relocated one solar system on Taveuni into the just rebuild post cyclone school – installed 2015.  And wired up an new donated admin building for a school we put solar in a few years back.

Phew – back to business.
Have a great rest of your day.

Update on New Generations

District Primary School Literacy Project.     Rotarians and partners were able to support two projects for a small donation of $2.    We were able to hand over 50 books to one primary school in each AG Group  these books were secured from the donations.  School recipients in our area  were: Tarrawanna Public School and Warilla Public School
Money raised out of this project gave us enough funds to support Books in Homes Project to support the 10 Indigenous students in the small town of Bonya (Ortippa Thurra), NT (320klms north east of Alice Springs) to receive reading books for a year, along with the school having around 80 books to add to their school library.   Great outcome both Locally and Nationally!!!

Now back to our conventional Rotary New Generations Programs

  • RYPEN(Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) Applications are very slowly coming in – please remember there is a limit of 40 (first in best dressed – then there will be a waiting list)     Please download application form from:   Closing Date: 23rd March 2018
  • MUNA (Model United Nations Assembly) – have now been able to confirm the date for this event.   Saturday  19thMay 2018 –  NSW Parliament House.   I do appreciate that a number of schools have been eagerly been waiting for the information.      While there is a limit of how many we can take at this event we would like capacity this year.     Please download ALL the forms for registering you team:
  • NYSF (National Youth Science Forum) – 1stMarch saw the opening of NYSF for students.     Schools would have been advised – we have a link on our website promoting the start of the process.   Please note: Students will have to register on NYSF’s website before  they can proceed too much further.  

Rotarian has a new string to his bow.

ROTARIANS from across the Illawarra attended the recent Queen’s Baton Relay, hosted recently by Kiama Council, to support and celebrate their fellow Rotarian John Chaplin, who was chosen as one of the Baton bearers. John Chaplin of the Rotary Club of West Wollongong was nominated by his club to carry the Baton in the Queen’s Baton relay. John’s section of the relay was along Terralong Street, Kiama. John was nominated, especially, because of his involvement in archery both locally, Internationally and in the Olympic Games. John is a very highly respected member of the business community in the Illawarra.

He was the BHP, Port Kembla, solicitor for 35 years. John was awarded the Order of Australia in 1995, for services to The Flagstaff Group. He served on the Board for 35 years as a foundation director and chair for 10 years. As well as being a 43-year member of Rotary, John has held many positions in both his club and his Rotary District. He holds two Paul Harris Fellow Recognition – PHF sapphire pins. A PHF is s very prestigious Rotary award for recognition of service. John is a past president of Illawarra Archery, a past executive member of Archery NSW and a past board member and past president of Archery Australia, including a period as chair of its High Performance Committee.

He is currently Chair of World Archery’s Board of Justice and Ethics. John Chaplin is a Life Member of both Illawarra Archery and Archery Australia. He is a highly accredited archery judge, and has been honoured to have held official archery appointments in the Olympics Games in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. John Chaplin is a true example of Rotary’s “Service Above Self”, serving in his vocation and through his community service. John’s colleagues in Rotary regard him as a real mentor and one who we all aspire to emulate.

Dreams to Dance and Dine under Historic Wings

Dinner under the wings of historic aircraft will swing dancing dreams into reality at Albion Park Regional Airport in May.  The Rotary Club of Illawarra Sunrise  is putting on the aviation theme dinner to benefit Fairy Meadow Dance School’s Dream Big Dancers,  which caters specifically for children and adults with special needs  The seventh annual “Swing into Wings” charity dinner will be held at the HARS Aviation Museum on Saturday 5 May during the Wings Over Illawarra air show.

Illawarra Sunrise president Brian Ashe said guests would be dining under the wings of historic aircraft such as the “Connie” Lockheed Super Constellation and TAA’s first aircraft the DC3 Hawdon. “Each table will be hosted by a guest aviator such as senior Qantas captains and representatives from the RAAF Roulettes, the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm squadrons and the Army’s elite parachute demonstration team,” Mr Ashe said.

“Whether you are an aviation enthusiast or not it will be a fabulous evening.”  This year’s dinner will pay tribute to VH-OJA, the “City of Canberra” jumbo jet which is now on display at the HARS Aviation  Museum.  This was the first Qantas Boeing 747-400 which still holds the record for the longest non-stop flight, from London to Sydney in 1989, and also the shortest flight, from Sydney to Albion Park in 2015.  Crew from those flights or their family members will be honoured at the dinner.

Thanks to Qantas, guests can bid for a series of “money can’t buy” experiences including a two-hour simulator flight at the Qantas flight training facility , a dinner for four hosted by three Qantas senior captains at the prestigious Centro CBD restaurant in Wollongong, an exclusive tour of the Sydney Qantas jet base and a behind-the-scenes look at the massive Qantas Q catering facility.

Tickets at $100 per person are on sale at but close on 29 April,  or when all are sold.
For more media information please contact Tony McAdam on 0414 426 367. 

President Brian’s Report : Number 19

This week has been a bit busier than last because there was a Board Meeting and out of that came the Agenda for our Club Assembly on Friday.  It was stated that our club is showing some symptoms that are both concerning and need to be brought to the fore and addressed now. Broadly these symptoms were lack of attendance at weekly meetings and possible reasons for this. The cost of fees and the disbursement of those fees, succession planning and the make up of the Board. There is currently no President for 2019/20 or any other Board Member for that period. The costs of the Centurion Club, Guest Speakers Guests were also raised and that this financial position for the club needs correction. More specific details are in the Minutes following.

I will raise some of the suggestions from the meeting  with the District Governor for clarification of what can or can’t be done. It was raised that we should have an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting for all members at a date and place to be organised. The people at the meeting on the Friday were very hopeful and felt happy that this topic had been raised for discussion.

I will be at District Conference this Friday so Elaine DeVries will act for me at our meeting this week.

I also met with Fiona Reynolds, CEO National Trust, Tuesday morning to discuss  and plan our working together to ensure the future of the Cliff Road Battery. Agreement was reached that the National Trust would support our plans, especially historic signage along Cliff Road with the history of the Battery depicted.

Have a good meeting and I will return from the Conference full of ideas.
Brian Ashe

Minutes of Meeting : 23 Feb 2018

What is costs to be a member of Rotary

Brian led an extensive discussion about the future of the club, membership and membership costs.
We have 35 financial members but an average meeting attendance of only about 12-15.
Our annual costs (eg dues to district and international) are $326/member. ($291.82 excluding guest speakers).
Our annual fees are $350/member.
Other clubs use fundraisers to pay some of these costs.
Brian is to check the legality of using some of our fundraising proceeds to cover some of our rotary costs.
Our charge to attend meetings is $30 of which $26 goes to the Novotel.
The Novotel doesn’t charge for room hire, but nevertheless this cost is $1200 for 40 meetings/ year.
In additions there are fines / donations / raffle.
Is there a more cost effective way of having meetings? Do we need to meet every week?
The combined cost of membership and meeting attendance was agreed to be a deterrent to membership.
We have no president elect for next term and no new people prepared to be on the board.
This is unsustainable. So in the absence of some major change our club will fold up in the next couple of years.
Brian is to arrange an extraordinary meeting to review what to do about this.

Some other points discussed:
The centurion club. We are paying for it as part of the $326. Why? Wollongong have recovered. How?
Why have recent members joined?

We received a card from Robyn Allen from the Kairos Prison Ministry thanking us for our $200 donation

Apologies Isla and Michael, Edith and Ian
Sergeant: Wyn jansen
Minutes  Rowan Huxtable  

President Brian’s Report : No 18

16 February 2018

The second part of the Rotary year has begun with a social theme to begin (First meeting at my house as a social gathering,  then Breakfast at the Lagoon Restaurant) then getting to the business at hand with our first meeting at the Novotel on Friday 9 January.  Friday 5 December saw Peter, Collette and myself dressed up in period costume to launch Council’s Australia Day Celebrations at Belmore Basin at 10.00am.

Other things that we did in January before the club was officially back was; marching practice on two afternoons then Australia Day on 26 January 2018.  The day, I believe went very well and this included a new public address system (organised by Council), a Police escort, the Illawarra Pipe Band, our Lord Mayor leading the march and giving the Welcome to Country for all Australians followed by the welcome return of Mal Billingsby commanding the troupe.  Michael Hough returned to give the audience the information on the guns and this was well received, followed by Molly, who is only 11 years old, who sang Advance Australia Fair to the accompaniment of the Pipes.  The audience was then invited to come down and have photos taken with the soldiers and wenches. A very good day for all and my heartfelt thanks to all those members, who supported this day and what we do on that day.

A Membership meeting was held on Monday 12 February but attendance was poor with only 3 people present. Although small the meeting raised a number of questions that will go to the Board meeting to be held on Tuesday 20 February. Peter Rixon and myself attended the District’s Presidents meeting on Friday 16 February and I will report back on that meeting and some of the matters raised.

The meeting on Friday 23 February will be a Club Assembly, where there will be some very important topics discussed.

Friday 2 March will be the start of the District conference, which I will be attending so I offer my apologies for that meeting and will arrange somebody to chair the meeting. If there is a volunteer to do that please let me know because that would be an excellent way to resolve this.

Emails have been sent to all members outlining the invitations sent by other clubs for our members to attend and I encourage you to think about these offers.

That is all for the beginning but I look forward to the next 17 months where I will finish my first term as President

Brian Ashe