Welcome to 2018.  We wound up 2017 with a Christmas Party at the home of Melissa and Graham Meredith and we thank them for their hospitality.  We raised $500 which we donated to the Highlands Community Christmas Dinner held at the Southern Highlands Christian School.  Thank you to all who attended.  We also finished 2017 with the induction of Geri Gardiner who will be assisting us with fundraising.
January is usually a quiet month for the Rotary Club of Berrima District however this year was a little different.  Melissa Meredith, Bridget Cosyn and I were off to Canberra to facilitate the District 9710 RYLA Programme for 2018.  In our absence we welcomed a new member - Krischan Keller who is works with the PYCY.  Krischan and his wife welcomed their first son -  Sebastian Richard James Keller - on the 22nd of January - so our heartfelt congratulations to Krischan and his wife Jacki.  On Australia Day we ran a stall at the Berrima Australia Day Markets and our Youth Exchange participant, Georgia Saeck, returned from 12 months in Switzerland.  Not so quiet after all!
Our trial of two meetings per month has concluded with the majority of members agreeing that they would prefer weekly meetings.  For the moment we are back to lunchtime meetings at Bowral Bowling Club but are currently discussing the possibility of trialing two breakfast meetings a month ... stay tuned !
Want some more information?  Our January 2018 Bulletin has been published so click on the link and find out what's been happening ... 
Lyndall McGrath
Welcome to 2018 2018-02-05 13:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Club of Berrima District would like to thank the Honorable Pru Goward, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister for Social Housing, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, for her part in assisting us gain a grant to go towards the upgrading of the playground in Berrima Market Place to include some all abilities play equipment and disabled access.
RC of Berrima - Berrima Market Place Playground Work 2017-12-19 13:00:00Z 0
Berrima Rotary Club Fundraiser - WONDER 2017-11-06 13:00:00Z 0
17 DAY ROTARY TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND 2017-11-06 13:00:00Z 0
On the 30th August 2017 the Rotary Club of Berrima District hosted the 2017 Southern Highland’s 4 Way Test Public Speaking Competition.  Berrima put forward two contestants – Celia Battcock from Frensham and Campbell De Montemas from Oxley College.  The Rotary Club of Bowral/Mittagong had two contestants from Bowral High School – Phoebe Staats and Hayden Koek.  Ben Brittle from Moss Vale High School was representing the Rotary Club of Moss Vale.
4 Way Speaking Test 2017-09-20 14:00:00Z 0
4 Way Test Public Speaking Competition
On the 30th August 2017 the Rotary Club of Berrima District hosted the 2017 Southern Highland’s 4 Way Test Public Speaking Competition.  Berrima put forward two contestants – Celia Battcock from Frensham and Campbell De Montemas from Oxley College.  The Rotary Club of Bowral/Mittagong had two contestants from Bowral High School – Phoebe Staats and Hayden Koek.  Ben Brittle from Moss Vale High School was representing the Rotary Club of Moss Vale.
The students presented on different topics and related them to the Rotary 4 Way Test:
  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Hayden Koek, Bowral High School, discussed Bullying and applied the 4 Way Test to how to deal with bullies and bullying.  Hayden suggested that we spend too much time focusing on the bullied rather than the bully and feels that finding out why someone is a bully is a far more effective way to stop it happening in the first place.
Campbell De Montemas, Oxley College, spoke about suicide and believes that the 4 Way Test could be used to help treat people suffering from mental illness or contemplating suicide.  Campbell believes that truth and fairness when it comes to mental health is beneficial to all concerned.
Ben Brittle, Moss Vale High School, applied the 4 Way Test to the current political climate in North Korea and found that the Government policies failed the “test”.  Ben suggests that the actions of “rouge” governments around the world are one of the biggest threats to today’s young people and that acts of war are NEVER beneficial.
Phoebe Staats, Bowral High School, informed us that the 4 Way Test was first put forward by Rotary after World War Two in response to a world that had lost it’s moral compass.  Phoebe then applied the 4 Way Test to the current Australia Day controversy and determined that it would be better to change the date.
Celia Battcock, Frensham, applied the 4 Way Test to forest clearing, animal extinctions and pollution and found that we humans fail the 4 Way Test when it comes to protecting the environment.  Yet, conservation is fair and decidedly beneficial to all. 
All 5 speeches were brilliant.  The topics covered were well thought out and well presented.  The Judges – Chris Young (Berrima), Don Graham (Bowral/Mittagong) and Jim McAlpine (Moss Vale) had a difficult time choosing just one winner but they overwhelmingly agreed that Phoebe Staats was it.  Her speech was also a crowd favourite.  Our congratulations to Phoebe who will be competing in the final later this year.  Thank you also to the Students, their Teachers, Parents and the Rotary Clubs of Bowral/Mittagong and Moss Vale for attending and putting forward contestants.  It was a great day and I look forward to the 4 Way Test again next year.
District Governor’s Visit
We had a visit from DG Steve Hill’s representative, PDG Phil Armstrong, who gave us a very interesting talk on where the End Polio Now campaign is up to.  Prior to Rotary, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, stepping up to the plate there were 350000 new cases of polio reported every year.
Since 1988, we’ve seen a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%. Last year we only saw wild polio cases in three countries.  However, the fight isn’t over.  We need to keep up the immunisations for at least 3 more years before the world is declared Polio free.  World Polio Day is on the 24th October.  For more information please visit the following site: https://www.endpolio.org/
RAM – Rotarians Against Malaria
John Macpherson brought us an update on RAM from the National Conference in August 2017.  Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM) is a volunteer-run organisation working to eliminate malaria. Fifteen years ago, malaria killed a child every 30 seconds. Under the Millennium Development Goals, however, considerable progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing and treating malaria. As a result, deaths have fallen by 60 percent. Now, under the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, they are aiming to reduce malaria cases and deaths by a further 90 percent by 2030.  Though the deaths have fallen the statistics are still grim.  One child dies every two minutes … How can we help?  Just $500 from each Rotary Club this year will go a long way to helping defeat Malaria.  Current programmes in Timor Leste, Paupa New Guinea, and the Soloman Islands, are providing mosquito nets, equipment and training so that the people can turn the problem around.  Education seems to be the key.  Griffith University, the Burnett Institute, James Cook University, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the Australian Army Malaria Research Unit and the Australian National University are all working together to develop a vaccine.  For further information please visit http://ram.rawcs.com.au/
So what are our plans for 2018?
RYLA 2018
Applications for 2018 RYLA are open.  We have had a hiccup with the online applications however this has now been sorted.  As District Chair of RYLA I feel very lucky to have a wonderful group of mentors and committee members to help out this year.  I am especially lucky to have our RYLA candidate from 2017, Jade Rein, as one of our Mentors plus our Youth Director, Bridget Cosyn, and our Director Club Services, Melissa Meredith as committee members.  Bridget was a RYLARIAN and Melissa is the mother of a RYLARIAN and a previous RYLA committee member.  We are always on the lookout for candidates or people who may like to assist in the programme.  Stay tuned for updates … https://www.rotaryd9710.org.au/projects/vocational/ryla.html
Australia Day
Please mark the date in your calendars.  We are having a stall in Berrima Market Place as part of the Australia Day celebrations that take place every year in Berrima.  We will be looking for volunteers to populate the stall throughout the day.  We will be selling food, refreshments and using the day as a membership drive as well as fund and awareness raising for our proposal to install some all abilities play equipment in the park and the associated groundworks.
MARCH 2018
District Conference
PP Allen Cupitt gave us a briefing on where the planning is up to for the District Conference which is to be held at Mittagong RSL Club from the 23rd to the 25th March 2018.  There are some really exciting speakers lined up and there appears to be a comedy theme running though the programme.  Look out for details of the entertainment at the District Governor’s Conference Dinner on the Saturday night …
The organising committee will be looking for volunteers to populate the House of Friendship throughout the conference.  Stay tuned for more details.  Registrations open on the 1st November 2017.  For more information please visit the following site: https://conference.rotaryd9710.org.au/index.html
This Month ... 2017-09-20 14:00:00Z 0
The year is racing on and we are now into the 2nd month of trialling the changes to our meeting schedule.  The extra time has given us all the chance to catch up on our other projects.  Derek White, Richard Krohn and Chris Webb have been working on the Berrima Market Place proposal.  Barry Barry Barford is continuing his hard work with MAfO, John Macpherson with RAWCS and RAM, John Smythe and Richard Krohn with Dream Cricket, Bridget Cosyn is easing into her role as Youth Director, and Allen Cupitt is heading the committee for the 2018 District Conference.  Frank Rodriguez has been working on the completion of Yesterday’s Stories and I have been gathering my team and putting together the programme for RYLA 2018.  There are only 7 meetings left in the year and we are busy completing our schedule of activities and speakers.  October is a busy month and we are looking for volunteers for the following activities;
Bowling Challenge
The annual Southern Highlands Rotary Bowling Challenge is coming up in Friday the 13th October at Highlands Tenpin, Mittagong.  Last year the Rotary Club of Berrima District fielded two teams.  We held our ground last year but were not strong enough to defeat the Rotary Club of Moss Vale.   Please contact President Lyndall McGrath ASAP to become part of the team.  This is how much fun we had last year ... 
Lift the Lid on Mental Illness
Australian Rotary Health and Bunnings have joined together to assist in fundraising for and the promotion of awareness of mental health issues.  We will be sharing a Lift The Lid Awareness table with the Rotary Club of Moss Vale on Saturday and Sunday the 7th and 8th October 2017 at Bunnings, Corner Old Hume Highway & Tyree Place, Mittagong.  Our shifts are from 12 to 3pm on the Saturday and from 9am to 12 on the Sunday.  Please contact Lyndall McGrath if you are available to help out during either of these periods.  You don’t need to be there for the whole three hours … but if you can that would be great.  For more information on Lift The Lid please visit the following site: https://australianrotaryhealth.org.au/support-us/campaigns/lift-the-lid/
Dream Cricket
Friday 27th October 2017 is the annual Dream Cricket day at Bradman Oval.  Richard Krohn and John Smythe are on the Board and are requesting volunteers to help out on the day.  There are a variety of different jobs and shift one can do.  It is a wonderful experience and the more people we can get to help the smoother the day runs.  For more information please contact Richard Krohn on 0450695009 or rfkrohn@hotmail.com
Lyndall McGrath
From The President 2017-09-20 14:00:00Z 0
Here is the first look at the programme and line up for the 2018 District 9710 Conference to be held in the beautiful Southern Highlands from the 23rd to the 25th March 2018.  Registrations open on the 1st November 2017.  Stay tuned for updates ... 
DISTRICT 9710 Conference - March 2018 2017-09-19 14:00:00Z 0
AUSTRALIAN ROTARY HEALTH - Lift the Lid on Mental Health 2017-05-23 14:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Foundation celebrates 100 years of Doing Good in the World.  Gifts to the Foundation empower Rotarians to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people in need.  Here's how the Foundation makes a difference ... 
THE ROTARY FOUNDATION - Making A Difference 2017-05-17 14:00:00Z 0
Visions Newsletter 2017-04-17 14:00:00Z 0
PROJECT REPORT – Medical Aid for Oceania and Worldwide (MAFO) RAWCS Project 48/2012-13
Since it first began operation in 2010 as Beds for Fiji, MAFO has gradually added value to the scope of the project. First came the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Ramsay Health Care in 2012 and then the gradual expansion not only of the range of equipment supplied, but also the diversity of destinations. As well as beds MAFO now supplies anaesthetic and x-ray machines, ECG monitors, defibrillators, operating theatre equipment and a full range of hospital consumables. We serve hospitals and other medical facilities in numerous Pacific islands, the Asia-Pacific region and the African continent. Along the way suppliers other than Ramsay heard about the project and we now receive donated equipment from a variety of medical and pharmaceutical sources.
Today MAFO’s reputation as a source of shipping and logistical expertise has spread to other clubs, which sometimes “hire” us to organise container shipping on their behalf. One such club is the Rotary Club of West Wollongong, for which MAFO has recently delivered a 20ft container for packing by the Club with mixed medical and educational supplies, as well as 170 litres of paint for the refurbishment of medical clinics in the Cook Islands.
In its early days seven years ago, MAFO conveniently shipped its beds for Fiji out of Port Kembla. Unfortunately the shipping lines serving the Pacific Islands rarely use that port these days so we have to incur the additional cost of having the packed container delivered to Port Botany. We then arrange for the container to be weighed – a new maritime law introduced last July – and prepare the necessary shipping documents. The container is now en route to Auckland where it will be transhipped to another vessel for delivery to Rarotonga (pictured below) in early May.
Barry Barford
Deputy Project Manager
MAFO lends shipping expertise to other clubs Barry Barford 2017-04-11 14:00:00Z 0
2017 DISTRICT TRAINING ASSEMBLY 2017-04-10 14:00:00Z 0

Special Guest Rotary International President Elect Ian Riseley.  District Assembly this year will be a little different to other years.  We would like to encourage all Rotarians to attend, not just incoming Board members.  Make it an opportunity for a Club weekend away.

There will be a showcase of many of the Rotary programs on display over the weekend, with the opportunity to discuss one on one with committee members.  Breakout sessions will still be held with an opportunity to learn and ask questions.

  • DATES: 12 noon 29th - 30th April

  • VENUE ASSEMBLY: Kingsford Smith School, 100 Starke Street, HOLT ACT (view map)

  • DINNER: Raiders Belconnen, Hardwick Cres, HOLT ACT

  • COST: $40pp

Registrations close 23rd April, 2017 at 6pm




District Training Assembly 2017-18 2017-04-03 14:00:00Z 0
To take advantage of the last few days of daylight saving we decided to undertake the Berrima River Walk and then head to Feast @ Berimma for a brief evening meeting and social event.  The weather was far from kind to us with hail and thunderstorms passing through Berrima for the precise time we had planned our walk.  We have postponed it and plan to revisit the idea when daylight saving returns in spring.
We wish to send out a big thank you to Ann and Phillip at Feast @ Berrima for hosting our social evening.  We had a delicious meal and lots of wonderful conversation. Such a great atmosphere
SOCIAL EVENING 2017-03-18 13:00:00Z 0
MUNA - Model United Nations Assembly
MUNA for 2017 will be on Saturday the 13th May at the Wingecarribee Shire Council Chambers.  Applications opened on the 1st March.  Our Club is responsible for teams from Frensham and Oxley College.  Last years event was something special and I urge you to come along.  
NYSF - National Youth Science Forum
Applications for the 2018 NYSF open in March and close on the 31st May 2017.
4 Way Test Public Speaking Competition
Round 1 is scheduled for July 2017
Round 2 is scheduled for July 2017
Semi Final Scheduled for September 2017
Final at the District Conference in October 2017
Applications for 2018 close in November 2017
For further information on Youth Projects please contact our Youth Director, Chris Young.  Your help with any of the Youth Projects would be greatly appreciated.
YOUTH PROJECTS 2017/18 2017-03-07 13:00:00Z 0
Our guest speaker at our meeting on the 8th February 2017 was Dylan Whitelaw.  Dylan is a Year 10 student at Oxley College, Burradoo.  Get Around It is a small not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness and services about Youth Mental Health within the Wingecarribee Shire. Established to assist young people during difficult times, Get Around It is an innovative organisation that strives to help every young person within the Wingecarribee Shire. Mental health conditions often start early in life and can have significant implications for success in education, future careers, and personal relationships. One in four young people experience a mental health condition and suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 24, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Research has shown that half all mental health conditions emerge by the age of 14, and three-quarters by age 24. However, identifying issues early and getting a young person into the right support and treatment can change lives. Adolescence is a critical time for mental health and around 550,000 young people aged 12–18 years live with depression or anxiety.
Get Around It was established in late 2015 after a less than desirable experience with the mental health system in the Wingecarribee Shire. After this experience, the founder became very interested in adolescent mental health.  Get Around It is a non-government organisation that raises awareness and promotes the wellbeing of young people.

Ultimately Get Around It is a group of people who are passionate about mental health and helping other people.  Guided by our vision and mission, values and behaviours, we endeavour to help young people improve their lives and therefore reduce the risk of suicide.  For more information please visit https://www.getaroundit.org/
8th February 2017
GET AROUND IT - Local Youth Mental Health Initiative 2017-03-07 13:00:00Z 0
Our Candidate for the 2017 NYSF was James Walker.  James has provided us with a comprehensive report on his experience.
This may come as a surprise to hear but, after arriving at Burgmann College at the Australian National University with a new year freshness and being greeted by the sight of young adults in blue shirts skipping, running and screaming in uncanny unison, I honestly thought I was about to embark on the most confronting twelve days of my life! In fact, I called my parents that evening after driving down to Canberra from our Berrima home and vividly recall exclaiming my trepidation and, to an extent, initial apprehension about the whole National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) experience. However, I can safely say I have never been more wrong in my life! On returning to my friends and family at home and boarding school in late January, I have found it extremely difficult to express just how life-changing, fun, and utterly amazing the NYSF was. I realise that this report, rather words in general, will never fully encompass the NYSF experience, but I hope I can do it some justice by relating my unbelievable experience to the best of my ability.
Firstly, the hundreds of remarkable young men and women on the NYSF are what distinguishes it from other youth experiences. My initial uneasiness was quelled upon meeting my floor group, the Homer Heroes, on the first night. Never in my had I met such a like-minded, humour-driven, and intelligent group of adolescents and from all over the oceanic region: New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand just to name a few. The 15 minutes of nightly floor time was always a highlight of my day and they have forged unforgettable memories which will last with me forever (especially a spilt Milo dilemma).

No more than 12 hours later, I was introduced to a group as engaging, humorous, and gifted but with whom I developed an even deeper personal connection: my interest group. Hill, whose focus was upon food, agriculture, and plant and animal biology, was composed of the loveliest people you could imagine. In fact, I have become so close to them (we all still speak to this day) that it feels proper to name them all. From top left clockwise: Sharon (NSW); Erin (NZ); Nia (QLD); Mark (QLD), who was the best buddy I could ask for; Emily (QLD); Jeremy (NSW); Jaslin (ACT); myself; Aleina (VIC); Leon (VIC); Jade (NSW); Izzy (WA); Poppy (VIC); and Connie (VIC).

It was with this group that I visited some of the most scientifically stimulating sites in Australia including the Mulloon Creek Chicken Farms, the National Botanic Gardens, the Canberra Reptile Zoo, CSIRO, and the Jerrabomberra Wetlands.
Yet, I think the real magic of the NYSF lies within its ability to alter life courses. Entering the forum, I was uncertain about my future career path but veterinary science had always fascinated me. However, during our visit to the CSIRO, we were privileged enough to receive a talk about genetically modified cotton and mace wheat crops, which, through selective genetic breeding, increased resistance to common pestilences and increased overall yield. This field just felt ‘right’ from the start and now that I have conducted research into the university degrees available to enter the bioengineering field, I am more uncertain than ever about what I want to do in the future! All I know is that it will involve science.
We were also fortunate enough to receive lectures from some of Australia’s leading scientists such as Sally-Ann Paulsen, Dr Grant Wilson (Physiotherapy), and last but not least, Nobel Prize winner, Professor Brian Schmidt (Astrophysics). These men and women were extraordinary and I felt so lucky to have the chance to listen to their lectures and ask pressing questions. On top of this, I also received invaluable information about coping with Year 12, universities, scholarships, and other potential future scientific workplaces such as Lockheed Martin and IP Australia during the Partners Presentation and Expo.
Although I’ve outlined the scientific aspects of the forum (as would be expected), it would be careless not to mention all the activities which bonded my session and forged long-lasting friendships which I will cherish forever. Whether this involved the science relay quiz, the swing dance, the disco, visits to the National Museum of Australia and the National Art Gallery, Questacon, or the concert, I experienced some of the best moments of my life.
In no way does this report summate the greatness of NYSF; it really is indescribable. I hope I can explain the experience to a greater justice during my speech at my local Rotary club next month. My gratitude and appreciation for the Berrima District Rotary Club, especially for their amazing monetary support, is unparalleled. You really have changed my life. Thank you. Furthermore, I’d like to extend my thanks to District 9710 for my selection. The intellectual network I have established through the NYSF is priceless and I know they will shape my future. Thank you so much!
James Walker
NATIONAL YOUTH SCIENCE FORUM 2017 2017-03-07 13:00:00Z 0
Our candidate for RYLA 2017 was Jade Rein and here is her report on her experience:
We all arrived bright and early on Sunday the 15th January where we were welcomed by the Mentors and the Committee. Our first order of business was to get settled into our bunks and start to get acquainted with our fellow RYLArians. We started by having the mentors run a few ice-breaking activities and then we got straight into the program. Our days ran from 7am until approximately 9pm and they were all packed full of speakers, presentations, activities, workshops and exercises.
We quickly moved straight onto our first speaker Tony Tucker who is an associate professor at the University of Canberra, he spoke with us about Leadership theory and the fundamentals and concepts of Leadership. Working in teams we were instructed to build a straw tower and we would be judged on three things height, strength and how creative we can make a story about the structure. This challenge helped us to develop an understanding of how the different styles of leadership work.
Another task we completed involved us getting dressed up as if we were to attend an interview for a job of our choice. Once we were all dressed up we headed to the main building where we learnt about how to present yourself in an interview, general questions you might be asked and how to best prepare for an interview. One of the key points I will never forget is that is only takes someone seven seconds to form a first impression of you, so the way you dress to the way you conduct yourself through your body language is very important.
Another great activity we conducted was an online questionnaire called the HBDI framework, this was done before we attended RYLA. The HBDI is brain framework model that helps understand the different mental processes and how different types of people prefer different kinds of thinking.  While we were at RYLA we received our results we were split between the four categories in the model. We were then given the task to write a newspaper article being the opposite of what we are. So for example I was in the Blue area meaning; the way I think is logical, analytical and factual. So the opposite of myself was the red category being people who think more emotionally and expressively. This helped us develop an understanding that people do think in different ways and there is no right way of how people think and the way they process and express information is different between people and you if you can work out the ways different people think it will help you get along away if you’re in a leadership role. 
The whole RYLA experience from arriving until departing was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The speakers, presentations and activities we completed helped us in many ways to gain confidence, learn to what makes a great leader and that you will fail and you need to just keep your head high and push though the challenges that may come your way. The RYLA program is a very personal growth experience and I am certainly grateful to the Berrima District Rotary Club for sponsoring me to attend RYLA in January 2017.
Jade Rein
February 2017
The Rotoract Club of the Southern Highlands has presented us with a certificate of appreciation for our support of their fundraising efforts for The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners on 2016.
Posted on Mar 01, 2017
Rod Asterope spoke to us about THE NINTH SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING CHALLENGE which is a project of the Rotary Club of Bowral/Mittagong.  The Challenge is an outreach programme aimed at changing student's perceptions of science and engineering through projects not normally undertaken in their school environments.  The Challenge is on the 20th and 21st March at the Mittagong RSL and will be attended by over 500 students from schools within the Highlands.  There will be teams of students undertaking electrical engineering projects, building catapults, building bridges and many more. 
Our Member, Richard Krohn, spoke about RAGES - Rotarian Action group for Endangered Species.  Richard was drawn to the group as when he was working and holidaying in South Africa he saw the effects of poaching first hand.  He also visited the RAGES supported Orangutan Sanctuary in Malaysia.  Rotary action groups receive RI funding and RAGES is run out of the Coolamon Rotary Club in District 9710.  For ore information please visit http://www.endangeredrag.org/projects/
Susan Sheward M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire), Director for Orangutans and Primates, RAGES 
112 Years of Rotary 2017-02-23 13:00:00Z 0
Following the extensive bushfires which have occurred in central western NSW recently, the Rotary Club of Mudgee and Mudgee Sunrise have jointly sponsored and established a fund to assist individuals and families suffering significant loss and distress caused by the fires.   The fund has been established through the Rotary Australia Benevolent Society – an arm of Rotary Australia World Community Service - and has been listed as a charitable fund.  This means it has Deductible Gift Recipient status so that donations made to it are tax deductible.
“Moneys donated to the fund will be used to assist those who have exhausted any assistance available from Government and Insurance resources following the Sir Ivan, Kains Flat and other fires in the Mid-Western Regional, Upper Hunter and Warrumbungle regions” the Project Manager, Margaret Barnes of the Rotary Club of Mudgee Sunrise, said today.  “At last count 31 houses had been lost, as had 104 outbuildings and an unknown but significant number of livestock.  The village of Uarbry, decimated by the Sir Ivan fire, lost 9 of its 12 houses and its church” she added. 
Mudgee Guardian
District Governor of Rotary District 9670 Stephen Jackson drove through the area the day after the Golden Highway was re-opened and said “This is an area well known to me.  I had driven through it only 3 days before and it was well-grassed but obviously dry.  When I returned the country around the Golden Highway was just black, kilometre after kilometre of fencing was damaged or missing, and there was almost no fodder available for the livestock which had survived.  There is a huge need for support”. 
The Rural Financial Counselling Service has agreed to work with the sponsoring clubs and will make recommendations as to the people most in need of benevolent relief.  The Service is a not for profit organisation which is already working with people impacted by the fires and will be a valuable and impartial resource in assisting the project deliver to those most in need.
Individuals, Rotary and other clubs and similar organisations, and corporate entities are urged to contribute to this tax deductible and charitable benevolent fund to assist in relieving the suffering of those who have and are continuing to experience personal trauma and property loss.
Donations can be made through an online process.  To donate, go to https://donations.rawcs.com.au/Default.aspx?ProjectNo=55&YearRegistered=2016-17.  The Project Sponsors thank donors for their support.
The release of this statement is authorised by Margaret Barnes, Project Manager, Rotary Club of Mudgee Sunrise, the Rotary Clubs of Mudgee and Mudgee Sunrise,  and by Stephen Jackson, District Governor of Rotary International District 9670 Inc.
From India, the project leader in India and founding chairman of Tara.Ed, Hon Rtn Jennifer Star has reported:
‘In January 2017 we hosted an Alumni Tour to Ajra as part of Rosary School's Golden Jubilee celebrations. Three Alumni joined the tour and had the opportunity to visit Ajra and Watangi to see the changes that have taken place in the school. Despite the challenges of demonitization, the Alumni Tour was a resounding success, with the team being welcomed very warmly by Father Anthony, the school staff and students. This tour marked the eighth and final tour to Rosary School, Ajra, and was the culmination of a multi-faceted and highly successful partnership lasting nine years. 
The tour was also coupled with a Sponsor visit, with Raechel's (2014) husband and children accompanying the tour to meet their Star Kids Scholarship student. If you would like to read more/see photos please see the Tour Blog and Sponsorship Visit posts on the Tara.Ed website.’ 
Tara Ed RAWCS Report 2017-02-06 13:00:00Z 0
Jade Rein (nee Chapman) returned from RYLA and gave us a most impressive account of her time there.  Jade's report will be on line shortly and will also be included in the next edition of The Banter.  
The Outbound Youth Exchange Students departed Canberra on the 14th January 2017
The collage shows all the Swiss inbounders at the Rhinefall,  Georgia's host family on my arrival in Zurich. L-R: Céline, Fabienne, Me, Stefan and Philippe Schmidt, Georgia at the Rhinefall, Swiss inbounders ice skating on a break from our language camp. These are only the Southern Hemisphere inbounds, from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Columbia, Georgia in a castle in Brig, where my school is and the view from from house in Salgesch.  
Georgia reports that so far, her experience has been amazing.  Her host family is so wonderful and it's so beautiful where she will be living, and even though the language barrier can be a bit difficult.  She was at language camp until the 4th February and then off to school on the 6th.  Georgia is so excited for the rest of her year that's yet to come.
We look forward to further reports from Georgia throughout the year. 
Meeting - 1st February 2017 2017-02-06 13:00:00Z 0
RAWCS ROVER February 2017 2017-02-06 13:00:00Z 0
The loading of the latest container of surplus medical and associated equipment bound for Malawi.
MaFO News 2017-02-06 13:00:00Z 0
Rotary Youth Exchange Programme (YEP) 2017-01-31 13:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Club of Berrima District once again took to Sydney Harbour to take part in the Yacht Ballet as part of the official Australia Day celebrations.  This year we hired three Yachts.  We had a total of 53 members and guests with representatives of Berrima, Bowral/Mittagong and Moss Vale Rotary Clubs.  We had a wonderful day and extend our sincere thanks to Allen Cupit and Ace Internet Services for their generous sponsorship and Bridget Cosyn for her marvelous catering of the event.  A thank you also to Berrima Buslines for transport to and from Rushcutters Bay.  
The Berrima Fleet - Australia Day 2017 2017-01-25 13:00:00Z 0

 DAISI means Doctors Assisting in Soloman Islands.  Due to lack of theatre gowns and surgical scrubs National Referral Hospital (NRH) operating theatres in the capital Honiara almost came to a complete stand-still last month, with only life or limb-threatening surgery being performed.Thanks to Alvin Zheng from (Cabrini Linen, Melbourne), and logistics provided by Barry Barford (Berrima District Rotary), a 20 foot shipping container with 10 pallets of surgical scrubs and 250 new theatre gowns has been successfully packed and sent to Honiara (see photo below).


In addition to over 8 pallets of surgical scrubs, the container also included linen, overalls, warming jackets, and theatre dresses. It is hoped that this large volume of scrubs and linen will be circulated to each of the hospitals in the Solomon Islands.

Dr Rooney Jagilly is the medical superintendent at National Referral Hospital (NRH), Honiara (above photo second from left) who made the urgent request to DAISI earlier this month for gowns & scrubs, who believes that “surgery will now be allowed to resume at full pace”. “Previously people would bring their own scrubs to hospital which was not ideal because the OR did not have enough. Now we have enough for all so that all the scrubs are managed by the hospital”.

The cost for freighting the container was paid by DAISI and made possible due to a number of generous donations to DAISI.

Gareth Iremonger - DAISI (Doctors Assisting in the Soloman Islands)



DAISI 2017-01-06 13:00:00Z 0
On 17th April 2016 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Fundacion Progad (a locally registered agency) ShelterBox assisted 2,588 earthquake affected families in the province of Manabi in areas surrounding the city of Puerto Viejo.  The earthquake led to a total of 35,198 buildings being classified as “unsafe” or “for limited use”. Even families with a house considered suitable for limited use were afraid that aftershocks would cause further damage, or worse, lead to fatalities. Families worried their possessions would be stolen, and staying on or nearby home sites became imperative. Some households stayed with other families who were lucky enough to have a stable structure to live in, but most people had little choice but to sleep outside their home. Although families built shelters with salvaged items, these only offered minimal protection from the rain or the intense heat of the sun. There were also problems associated with a lack of privacy with some households only washing at night when passers-by could not see them. ShelterBox’s provision of shelter items and technical training enabled families to improve structures, making them watertight, better ventilated and more private.
More information and donations to ShelterBox may be made through the following link : http://www.shelterboxaustralia.com.au/news_global.php?id=1391
Latest From Shelterbox 2016-12-16 13:00:00Z 0
On the 24th November & 13th December Richard Krohn and Derek White, with a little help from Lyndall and Aiden McGrath, cleaned and re-stained the deck at Rotary House, Triple Care Farm, Robertson. The hot weather on the 13th made for perfect drying weather and two coats of stain were applied in record time.  Around 400 people turned up for the Graduation Day at Triple Care Farm on the 15th December.  There were approximately 30 "graduates" (those who had achieved agreed goals during their stay at the Farm) in attendance out of the 52 who had achieved this status over the past year.  These included a very talented young girl who sang a couple of self composed songs for the assembled masses.
It was a very wet day so they did well to get through the proceedings (including a BBQ lunch) without mishap.  The planned tours of the new rehab centre and the Farm facilities were cancelled on OH&S grounds however.
Triple Care Farm - Rotary House Maintenance Work 2016-12-14 13:00:00Z 0
Wednesday the 14th December was our last meeting of the year and was celebrated at the Fitzroy Inn, Mittagong.  We had a delicious lunch and the meeting was well attended by members and their families. 
Christmas Party 2016-12-13 13:00:00Z 0
On the 7th December we were given a presentation by Georgia Saeck, out outbound Rotary Youth Exchange Student.  Georgia, who is a keen skier, is off to Switzerland in early January 2017.  Her first host family are in Salgesch, Leuk-Leukerbad.  They have three children and Georgia will be going to school with the youngest son.  We presented Georgia with her "jacket" and some Berrima Rotary banners which she will add to her collection of gifts for her host families and the Rotary Clubs she visits whilst on exchange.  We wish Georgia a safe trip look forward to regular updates throughout 2017.
We also heard from Jade Barr who spoke to us about the Highlands Community Christmas Eve Dinner.  Members of Berrima Rotary traditionally help out with transport and the donation of hams.  The Hams can be taken to the BDCU Alliance office in Bowral prior to Christmas Eve.
Thank you to David Cummings who officiated our AGM. 
Georgia Saeck & AGM 2016-12-06 13:00:00Z 0
The centenary of Rotary International was celebrated in 2005, and to mark the celebration every Rotary Club was asked to develop a community project.  The Rotary Club of Berrima District identified the creation of a lookout on Oxley Hill as their project, with this lookout providing not only a place of quiet reflection but also a substantial community asset and tourist attraction.
Rotary Community Oxley Hill Lookout - Some History 2016-12-01 13:00:00Z 0
The RAWCS Eastern Region quarterly meeting held in Orange on 12 November 2016.  The Rotary Club of Berrima District received the grant for their “Tara Ed. Teacher Training and Rural Schools Assistance” project in India. This project was designed to increase the quality of education in rural schools in Maharashtra State, India through teacher training and by providing basic teacher and classroom resources, sponsorship of school fees, equipment and uniforms for 50 underprivileged girls.
District RAWCS Projects Awarda - Pink Umbrella Foundation Grants 2016-11-28 13:00:00Z 0

Hope after an addiction to ice

Hearing young people’s stories from Triple Care Farm brings home the important role we all play in helping youth in crisis.  Rotary has has had a long association with Triple Care Farm through the construction  and maintenance of Rotary House on the property.  This facility is used for short-stay accommodation when friends and family visit the farm.

Levi, who's story is in this newsletter, has overcome ice addiction, reconnected with his family and is now working full time - all because your support enabled him to go to Triple Care Farm.  Ice ravages young lives. Below you will find a link to a short video which will help you to learn how Triple Care Farm has addressed the ice epidemic. I encourage you to take a few moments to view the clip.


And find out how your support saved Levi's life. To make a gift today to support of the 31 young people waiting for a place at Triple Care Farm in 2017, simply email me at a.green@sdmf.org.au.

Alex Green
General Manager of Sir David Martin Foundation



Triple Care Farm - Hope after an addiction to ice 2016-11-24 13:00:00Z 0
Thank you to Rens Traets, the current inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student in the Southern Highlands, who was our meeting guest on the 16th November.  Rens has just turned 16 is comes from a small harbouside town in the Netherlands.  He is finding the Highlands very beautiful though a little quiet.  He is looking forward to heading to the beach with his current host family over Christmas.  Eric Priebee presented the Rotary banner to Rens after a short speech in Dutch.
Rens Traets and Eric Priebee
Also present at our meeting were Linda Knight (President Bowral/Mittagong), Simon Knight and Rob Uhl.  It is always a pleasure to have visiting member from other Rotary clubs.
Rotary Youth Exchange - Rens Traets (Inbound) - 16th November 2016 2016-11-15 13:00:00Z 0
What is RYLA?  RYLA is an acronym for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.  It is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe. Each year, thousands of young people participate in this program. Young people ages 18 to 25 are sponsored by Rotary Clubs to attend the event run by the club's district committee. Participants are chosen for their leadership potential. Rotary Clubs and the Rotary District cover all expenses for the participants. The format of the event vary from district to district, but commonly take the form of a seminar, camp, or workshop to discuss leadership skills and to learn those skills through practice. Rotary clubs and districts select participants and facilitate the event in conjunction with past attendees of RYLA to create a peer guided experience. The District 9710 RYLA experience consists of a 6 day residential programme held in the ACT every January.  On the 9th November we had the pleasure of listening to our club's candidate Jade Chapman express her excitement about the upcoming programme and tell us a little bit about herself. Jade is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting, at the University of Wollongong.  She hopes one day to become a partner in an accounting firm.  We look forward to hearing the impact that RYLA has had on Jade when she return in 2017 to tell us all about her experience.
Jade Chapman and Melissa Meredith 
If you know of anyone who may be interested in attending RYLA please guide them to the following Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/District9710RYLA/
2017 RYLA Candidate - Jade Chapman - 9th November 2016 2016-11-08 13:00:00Z 0
Friend and fundraising is what Berrima's annual Shelterbox Race Day is all about.  We don a hat and welcome the Horse Racing season with virtual horse racing.  It's a great day and all proceeds go to Shelter Box.
For more information, or donations to, ShelterBox please visit the following website http://www.shelterboxaustralia.com.au/
Shelterbox Race Day - 2nd November 2016 2016-11-01 13:00:00Z 0
DreamCricket was initiated by Dr Roly Bigg of the Movement Disorder Foundation in concert with the Rotary Clubs of the Southern Highlands and the Bradman Foundation. The aim was to provide primary school students with special needs an opportunity to play cricket activities on Bradman Oval. The DreamCricket program has grown to encompass schools and children throughout Australia and internationally  October the 28th saw Dream Cricket come to Bradman Oval.  The Rotary Clubs of Berrima, Bowral/Mittagong and Moss Vale assisted in the set up and take down, providing the sausage sizzle lunch and helping out with the games.  A fantastic day was had by all volunteers and participants - even the rain couldn't wash the smiles of all the kids faces! 
Dream Cricket - Bradman Oval - 28th October 2016 2016-10-27 13:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lyndall McGrath
Our annual Hat Day Meeting was held on the 12th October (which is during Mental Health Month).  Our guest Speaker was Kim Millard who is employed as a registered nurse for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Liaison at Bowral and District Hospital.  She is based in the children's ward and her target age group is 12 to 17-year-olds.  Kim was employed thanks to nearly 12 months of fundraising from the BDCU Children's Foundation.  The foundation pledged an ongoing financial commitment to keep her position at the hospital.
Kim spoke to us of the positive impact that her work has in keeping young people in the area for treatment.  Rather than being quickly transported to Campbeltown Hospital, many children and adolescents with mental health issues can now be triaged, assessed and treated at Bowral Hospital.  This assists in targetting treatment and reduces the strain that travel distances can cause families.
It was great to have fresh feedback from Kim and to hear her experiences and insights into the mental health of our local youth.
Rotary Hat Day is an initiative of Australian Rotary Health which is one of the largest not-for-profit funders of mental health research in Australia.  100% of the money raised during this year's Hat Day campaign goes directly to research helping the one in five Australians affected by depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and many other illnesses.  More information of what Rotary Health does is available by following this link https://australianrotaryhealth.org.au/mental-health/
Mental Health Month Lyndall McGrath 2016-10-18 13:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lyndall McGrath
We left the confines of the Bowling Club this Wednesday (19th October) to revisit the Oxley Hill Road Lookout that was constructed by the RCBD in 2006.  We were blessed with a stunning day, although it was still a tad cool.  We were treated to an array of home made sandwiches, muffins and brownies from the sensational kitchen of Melissa Meredith- who went above and beyond to match drinks, straws and serviettes to the blue and gold colours of Rotary.  
John Macpherson, Allen Cupitt and Chris Webb posed for a wonderful then and now photo which shows that very little has changed in the past 10 years except for the weather.
 In the next edition of The Berrima Banter we plan to provide the history of the Lookout construction!!  
Picnic @ Oxley Hill Road Lookout Lyndall McGrath 2016-10-18 13:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Club of Berrima District will NOT be having it's regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday the 26th October.  We are instead convening at Bradman Oval on Friday the 28th to be part of the Dream Cricket Event.  Why not come along and join in the volunteering! 
DreamCricket was initiated by Dr Roly Bigg of the Movement Disorder Foundation in concert with the Rotary Clubs of the Southern Highlands and the Bradman Foundation. The aim was to provide primary school students with special needs an opportunity to play cricket activities on Bradman Oval. The DreamCricket program has grown to encompass schools and children throughout Australia and internationally.
Next Wednesday ... No Scheduled Meeting 2016-10-18 13:00:00Z 0
World Polio Day Event Lyndall McGrath 2016-10-12 13:00:00Z 0
Posted by Grant Hannaford

I've spoken to the head of the School of Optometry at UNSW and she has given me the go ahead to start exploring an Optometry student exchange program with Dr Sagunj in Nepal. The students from this year’s trip, seen in and around the eye hospital in the following photos, are planning a visit to our club once semester finishes (in November/December).  I have also started moving the optical equipment to a storage unit in Minto so that I can commence cataloguing and packing for Nepal so we should see everything ready by Christmas.



Students at the lodge waiting for the transport to take them to the hospital and the room in which we will be installing the lens equipment


Students consulting at the Banepa Eye Hospital

The remote eye clinic we did at Chirbasi.



Optometry students - Nepal Grant Hannaford 2016-10-05 13:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lyndall McGrath
Over the last two weeks our usual meeting place, The Bowral Bowling Club, has been unavailable due to Tulip Time bookings.  We had originally planned to have a picnic and revist our lookout on Oxley Hill Road but were hampered by wet weather.   

On Wednesday the 14th September we held our meeting at The Mill, 210-224 Bong Bong Street, Bowral.  We were treated to a delicious lunch and a tour of the premises.  "The Mill Bowral" has been so named, as the site is a restored timber mill, originally built at the turn of the century, with character features such as, exposed beams, original brickwork and industrial finishes.  Apart from the restaurant area there are a number of mixed use spaces intended to attract a range of different traders, from local food and produce, to artisans, homewares, furniture, designers and more.  Provision has been made for a conference and workshop area, hot desks and a meeting room, catering to those that have made the tree change to Bowral, whilst still maintaining a foothold in Sydney. Collaboration and local creative business development will also be a focus of this area.

The Mill - Bowral

Wednesday the 21st September was once again too wet for a picnic at lookout so this time we ventured to the historic Fitzroy Inn at Mittagong.  After a stunning lunch from Teena and Stephen from Phatt Duck Teena took us on a tour of the "cellars".  The Fitzroy Inn was opened in 1836 as a ‘Traveller’s Inn’ and remains operational after almost 170 years providing  a unique window into Australia’s colonial past.  The original kitchen in the cellars has been described by some historians as ‘the finest example’ of a convict-era built kitchen remaining in Australia. The ‘water-well’ in the middle of the floor, hand-cut into the shale below the building, is a truly remarkable work of convict masonry and craftsmanship. The convict cell, used to hold prisoners on their way to Berrima Gaol, retains the original iron shackles and hand-turned bars which securely restrained its hapless guests.  The venue provided a lively atmosphere and great plans for an exciting event in the near future were hatched ... stay tuned!
The Fitzroy Inn
Local Business Excursions  Lyndall McGrath 2016-09-25 14:00:00Z 0
Posted by Barry Barford
The latest photos from RC Bairiki in Kiribati, recipient of one of our containers of medical and schools equipment (including a visit to St Leo School Butaritari for book handover)
MAfO NEWS Barry Barford 2016-09-25 14:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lyndall McGrath on Jun 02, 2016

Southern Highlands Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) 2016

The 2016 Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) was held at Wingecarribee Shire Council Chambers on Saturday 7th May 2016 and was a hugely successful event with many of the High Schools in our community taking part – some schools with more than one team.  The students got into the event with some national dress to provide some colour and showcased their ability to think globally. Issues were debated from the perspective of different countries and included the equal rights of women, the eradication of poverty and the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic.
First prize was awarded to Southern Highlands Christian School who represented Russia.  In second place was Bowral High School who represented South Africa and third place was Oxley College who represented Nigeria.  Southern Highlands Christian School will go on to compete at the national MUNA at Parliament House in Canberra.

Students represented several UN member countries including Brazil, South Africa, Italy, Russia, Iran, Nigeria and Canada.

The event was hosted by members of the Rotary Club of Berrima, Rotary Club of Bowral-Mittagong, Rotary Club of Moss Vale and the Southern Highlands Rotaract.  MUNA aims to give participants an international understanding and the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the workings of the United Nations and its member nations.


Photographs courtesy of Ian Langford, Rotary Club of Bowral-Mittagong

MUNA 2016 Lyndall McGrath 2016-06-01 14:00:00Z 0
In the week of the 10th-14th August 2015 The Butterfly Foundation visited The Southern highlands community presenting to schools , parents, educators and councillors and  presenting at a youth day.
The Butterfly Foundation visited 3 high schools and 3 primary schools providing the students with workshops and presentations regarding body esteem.
These presentations were empowering, evidence based, positive and focused on prevention and health.
The feedback from the students was that they found the workshops enjoyable and informative. Responses from students included ` It taught us a lot about body image and it was in a very understandable way` and `It made me feel better about myself` The feedback from the students indicated they learn`t a lot about photo shopping and how this changes people. The feedback from a high school was that 3 students presented after the session with concerns about friends, allowing the school to follow up on the wellbeing of these students and intervene earlier to help them as necessary. The teachers thought the presenter was excellent and reported that 200 students in the session were totally absorbed in the presentation.
24 people attended The Dove Body Think Educator training, including both teachers and youth workers. The Dove Body Think Educator training is a self esteem, body image and media literacy programme, training teachers and youth workers about health promotion and prevention.
The feedback was that attendees found the information was very interesting and relevant to the student/client population and that the programme will be very likely to help assist these young people to improve their body image and self esteem. The attendees enjoyed interacting and sharing information with others in the group and learning new thought provoking ideas and information..
19 parents attended the Body Confident Children and teens information evening. This presentation was designed to equip parents with the knowledge, information and tips to better support their child `s body confidence.
The feedback  was that the parents learn`t information about body image, disordered eating and new ideas about raising body confident children and teens.
The Champions For Change Youth Day was attended by 29 students from 5 different high schools. These students shared views and ideas on how they can promote positive body confidence within their school. The feedback was that the students found the workshop very engaging and felt the activities were extremely relevant to their school and had helped them develop strategies to aid the wellbeing of their school community.
Comments from students included `I enjoyed socializing with other schools and seeing how different it is there` , ` A great day that raised lots of good questions `and `Such a great opportunity to talk openly about body esteem`
Overall the feedback from the Butterfly Foundation Community Initiative was that it was highly informative, engaging and interesting. It enabled students , teachers and parents to come together to discuss the important youth issue of body esteem  and leave with information and ideas.
Our Club Supporting Youth Mental health Christopher Young 2015-10-31 13:00:00Z 0
A "serious" meeting at Berrima Rotary today. We had fun fundraising for Rotary health and wore hats (some sillier than others) in support of Mental Health Month. Rotary actually contributes a significant amount to mental health research so a very appropriate cause for us.
Silly Hats for Mental Health Sue Sainsbury 2015-10-13 13:00:00Z 0
Quote of the Week - Who Said It? John Macpherson 2011-06-23 00:00:00Z 0
Thought for the Week - Who Said It? John Macpherson 2011-06-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by John Macpherson on Jun 23, 2011
Here you can post little tidbits of information, reminders, or anything else!
Mark Your Calendars! John Macpherson 2011-06-23 00:00:00Z 0
Integrated eBulletin for Easier Communication John Macpherson 0
Welcome to our new website! John Macpherson 0